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Blues Fest set-up gets rave reviews

June 03, 2000|By KERRI SACCHET

Whether it was the sound of the blues coming from such bands as The Bobby Flurie Band and Deanna Bogart or the taste of the funnel cakes and German frankfurters, both local and out-of-town attendees were more than pleased with the Western Maryland Blues Fest.

Fans attending the festival swayed with the music as they watched the performers play continuous music on alternating stages.

Several out-of-town attendees said the set-up was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Blues Fest.

"I think this is a really nice set-up; having dual stages and alternating between them is good," said Chris Paczkowski, 29, of Washington.

Norine Dagliano, 48, of Hagerstown said she has been to several other blues festivals, including the D.C. Blues Fest and the Chesapeake Blues Fest, and she especially liked the set-up of the Western Maryland Blues Fest.

"I think it's wonderful, and it has been improving every year," Dagliano said, "They're selling the blues fest shirts and hats, and the staggered stages was a great idea."

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Several out-of-towners commented favorably on the size of the crowd and the variety of the acts.

"I have waited two years to go to this, and now that I am finally here I am very impressed with the atmosphere of the crowd, the excellent performers, and the very easy access to get here," said 49-year-old Robert Whye of Westminster, Md.

"This is my third time being here; it's not as large as other concerts I have been to, but it is very nice," said Gloria Hollerbrush, 52, of York, Pa.

Husband and wife Dennis Gober and Barbara Barone, both 53, who traveled from Huntsville, Ala., for the event, said there were many pluses to attending this Blues Fest compared to others they have seen in their area.

"The Big Spring Jam, where we live, is in a park and is very spread-out; this Blues Fest is more contained, and I think it is nice that they set out chairs," Barone said.

"One thing is it's not as hot here; it's more together and has a better atmosphere," Gober said, "I really enjoyed Clarence Spady and Duffy Kane, and I just bought the Nighthawks CD. They play really good music."

Rich Jamiolkowski, 53, of Selinsgrove, Pa., said he is a fan of blues festivals and he enjoyed Saturday's festivities.

"I have been to the Poconos Blues Fest and the Billstown Blues Fest, and I would say this one falls in between of those two, but it has grown for the better," Jamiolkowski said.

In addition to members of the crowd enjoying the blues festivities, performers and some law enforcement officials enjoyed the roles they played in the Blues Fest.

"I chose to do this for overtime, and I like it," said Officer Brian Barnhart, 33, of the Hagerstown City Police Department.

Kathleen McLaughlin, of The Bobby Flurie Band said she had a great time performing in the festival.

"I love playing here; the sound set-up is great and they treat you like gold," McLaughlin said.

For Kim Nehring, 27, of Hagerstown, the Blues Fest was an opportunity to hear music she would not normally listen to.

"It is so much fun and I have come every year," Nehring said, "I'm not a big fan of the blues except for these two days out of the year."

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