Ramblings On My Mind
Greg Johnson, President Cascade Blues Association
With the access to vaccinations for some of our community, and more coming down the road to the rest of us, we may be starting to see the recess of the strains of Covid. There is still a ways to go as of yet and we’re still not at the point where we can open our monthly meetings to the general public yet due to access restrictions on numbers who can be in attendance. But there are a handful of venues that have begun to open their doors once again to live entertainment in limited formats. This is something definitely worth smiling about. Let’s hope that things continue in a positive direction.
What this means for festivals and events down the road is still a question up in the air, too. Looking at some, they have dates already set, but are keeping things like lineups a bit quiet for now. Understandable, have to play these things safely in the era of Covid and not jump the gun just yet.
The Blues Foundation has set dates for the 2022 International Blues Challenge and that’s nearly a year away. But it still leaves us in limbo on how to approach doing competitions to select an entry. At this point it is also a wait-and-see as we need to be able to house enough people for the musicians, sound, staff, judges, volunteers and attendees. In order for us to raise funds to help send our representatives to Memphis we absolutely need to be able to do this. It is something we want to happen as the Journey to Memphis has become one of our signature events and one we highly anticipate holding every year. But it is also a great deal of work putting this together, so we don’t want to go through the effort only to be placed in a position where the overall event is postponed once again. But that’s still a ways down the road yet.
As for now, let’s hope that we do not go through another crazy period of wintry weather bringing us to a standstill again. It’s bad enough being limited by Covid, to get shut in by weather is a double whammy. Thank God again for streaming live music. Whether local musicians or internationally-recognized artists to big time simulcast raising funds for good causes like The Hart Fund, they’re all worth taking the time to tune in and to throw a little tip or donation their way, too. After all, with the closed status of so many of our favorite venues, the musicians and venues still need to pay their bills, too.
And don’t forget about the Cascade Blues Association’s collaboration with Artichoke Music every month. We are working at bringing you some friendly faces that you may have not seen since everything went crazy a year ago. This month will be a lot of fun with Karen Lovely & Ben Rice. Sorry we can’t invite you to see them in person at the venue, but bring them into your home via the Internet on Facebook or later on Artichoke’s YouTube channel. Again, please tip the artists – and if you wouldn’t mind the Cascade Blues Association and Artichoke Music can use a little love, too.
Got any ideas how the Cascade Blues Association may be able to help our musicians and venues further? Let us know, but please remember we’re all volunteers and have limited resources ourselves while we are trying to stay in business, too. But we have open minds and would like to have you give us your suggestions and help if you could.