Ramblings On My Mind – January 2018

Ramblings on my mindGreg Johnson, Cascade Blues Association President

Every December, the Cascade Blues Association holds their annual elections to determine who will be their officers on the board of directors for the following year. Though it is a privilege to serve on the board, I do have to say that it is a bit disturbing that the same people year after year are the only people attempting to run for the positions. Once again, every officer who held the positions in 2017 were the only ones running for 2018. We do not have many people on our board. A total of seven. This makes things quite an effort for such a small group to try to uphold the events and behind the scenes work that our members expect. And it causes a great deal of burn-out.

We truly need help. We need people who know how to market our organization and to help with our events and to raise money to keep our activities possible. Time simply runs out for our small group to keep up. We have had to cut back on some of our events. We don’t want to, we just don’t have the funds or the people to put everything together. Cut-backs are going to have to happen still. We have to look at the content of the BluesNotes as we’ll have to drop the number of pages. We’ll continue to run our upcoming events and calendar, so don’t worry there. But some of the content will most likely be moved to our monthly email blast and website, such as CD reviews. Please consider advertising in the BluesNotes. It is one of the best bargains in local music publications in the area. And it can help us bring the content that you want.
Most of all, we need people to help. We are allowed by our by-laws to have up to fifteen people on our board. You do not have to hold an officer position, but we have multiple at-large member roles open. It is not a lot of commitment every month when we have bodies to fill the spots. Talk to a current board member for more information on you can become an at-large member, too.

On another more personal note, I am hoping that we have a good crowd of people heading to Memphis to support our acts at the International Blues Challenge this month. Unfortunately I will not be making the trip this year. I love supporting the musicians that we send and will miss being a part of the event that I have volunteered for the past fifteen years. But I have made twenty-five trips to Memphis so far over the years and have decided that there are other events and places that I would like to see, too. Almost all of my vacation time has been spent in Memphis, and most of that time has been spent working long hours that doesn’t always allow me to see our acts or to visit with friends for very much time. Plus it is not inexpensive to travel there. It has meant a lot to me and I hope that our acts have felt the support that I have fully offered to them. The Cascade Blues Association has and will always be represented at the highest quality by our Journey To Memphis winning acts. The best of luck to Amici and Sister Mercy as they compete for the big prize, and hoping that Timothy James & The Portland Blues Revival turn a number of heads as they hear some of the future of our blues scene.