It's appropriate, in an area steeped in history, that one of the nation's oldest forms of music should become one of Hagerstown's hottest new attractions. We're talking, of course, about the blues, which will be available in abundance at this weekend's second Western Maryland Blues Fest, which kicks off today with The Push and the Steve Kemp trio at 11:30 a.m. in the courtyard of the Maryland Theatre.
The festival's first edition enjoyed modest financial success last year, racking up a $2,500 profit and drawing 8,000 to the two-day event. This year 16,000 are expected to a festival that's beginning to build into a new tradition uniting many of the city's diverse groups behind the banner of the blues.
Last night, visitors to the garden of the historic Miller House heard the picking of Delta slide guitarist Ben Andrews. Tonight there'll be a pre-game blues concert by Bad Influence at the Hagerstown Suns' game at Municipal Stadium. Even the Municipal Band will get into the act Sunday night, closing the weekend with a blues-tinged concert of its own. For a complete schedule, call 301-739-8577, ext. 116.