Compact disc promotes blues fest

February 22, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Compact disc promotes blues fest

On the cover of his new compact disc, a picture of Mr. Downchild shows the blues musician strumming away in front of the Elizabeth Hager Center on Public Square in downtown Hagerstown.

The CD, which came out earlier this year, is filled with a collection of live recordings from last year's Western Maryland Blues Fest, which drew 14,000 people to Washington County last summer.

"He's been a real supporter of the festival," said Karen Giffin, a city spokeswoman and organizer of the annual event.

Blues Fest organizers are hoping the CD will help build enthusiasm for the third installment of the festival this summer.

Two years ago, the festival attracted 7,000 people, Giffin said. The number doubled last year.

"We couldn't have asked for anything more," she said.

Giffin and several other event organizers are credited on the back of the CD. Todd Bolton of Smithsburg, who snapped the picture that adorns the cover, said the photograph was one of dozens he took that weekend for his personal use.


"That picture, I hardly remember. I took seven rolls of pictures that week," he said.

Bolton, who is on the festival committee, said the Blues Fest will advertise in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., media for the first time this year.

"Marketing is going to be much more intense," he said.

Bolton said Mr. Downchild, whose real name is Steve Brozier of South Euclid, Ohio, was the only repeat performer at last year's Blues Fest. He said the CD is a wonderful advertising tool.

"It promotes our festival and our community," he said. "When you get an item like that, it really helps promote the event."

Organizers already are gearing up for this year's festival, slated for June 5, 6 and 7.

A fund-raiser for this year's Western Maryland Blues Fest will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, at the Four Points Hotel.

Bonedaddy and the Steve Kemp Trio will perform, Giffin said. Admission is $5 per person.

Giffin said the festival committee plans some changes to this year's event.

The Saturday street festival in downtown Hagerstown will be longer than last year, running from noon to about 7:30 or 8 p.m., Giffin said. Citicorp Credit Services will sponsor an expanded children's area with music workshops, she said.

Musical acts that have been booked include:

* Hot Tuna, which will be the headline act Friday night.

* Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, which will perform on Saturday. It is the only returning act from last year's festival.

* Cephas and Wiggins, which will perform in Hagerstown City Park on Sunday.

Other musicians who will perform include Corey Harris and Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards.

Blues fans can follow developments on the festival committee's World Wide Web site at (

The Herald-Mail Articles