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Sammy Kershaw croons to crowd at the Maryland Theatre

October 15, 2000

Sammy Kershaw croons to crowd at the Maryland Theatre



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


There are just some things you come to expect when you see a country singer the likes of Sammy Kershaw perform at the Maryland Theatre.

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The sound will be good, the show will be lively, the stage will be sparse and the singer will wear a country western uniform of tight blue jeans with creases, a white button-down shirt and cowboy boots.

Taking the stage at the Maryland Theatre for two shows on Sunday, Kershaw didn't disappoint.

About 600 tickets sold for the 4 p.m. show and 700 for the 7 p.m. performance at the South Potomac Street theater, said Pat Wolford, theater director.

"It's a fair crowd. An enthusiastic crowd," she said. The theater holds 1,300.

Kershaw's tour bus rolled into Hagerstown around 3 a.m. Sunday and he and his band spent the next few hours on the bus sleeping.

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Later in the day, the singer attended Mass at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hagerstown before his 4 p.m. performance, according to promoters.

Kershaw started the afternoon show with a foot-stomping performance of "Louisiana Hot Sauce," which featured ample percussion.

The crowd kept to their seats for much of the 4 p.m. show but let Kershaw feel their love with roaring applause and cheers after each number.

Accompanied by musicians on guitar, keyboards, drums and fiddle, Kershaw, 42, sang many of his hits and tunes from other performers.

Kershaw sang his new song "Sugar," which got a positive reaction from the crowd but not as much as the singer would have liked.

"You're gonna have to like it a lot more," he jokingly advised the audience.

Camera flashes went off endlessly during the hour-long show and women came up one-by-one to bring single roses and bouquets of flowers to the attractive singer who some say resembles Don Johnson.

Kershaw sang soulfully, closing his eyes and letting his strong voice carry throughout the theater. His ballads were heartfelt and his fast-paced songs rocked.

"Ya'll just jump on in baby and hang on," he warned the crowd at the start of another high-energy song.

The singer pleased the public by throwing out several guitar picks he had been using.

Frequently the Louisiana native grabbed a bunch of Mardi Gras beads draped over a platform where backup guitar players were standing.

He threw the beads high into the air and the recipients responded with cheers - not the traditional Louisiana skin-bearing salute.

Kershaw complained good-naturedly about the theater's blinding bright lights and his inability to hear the crowds comments because of a sound monitor he wore connecting him to other band members.

He said he would have to rely on members of his entourage to keep their ears and eyes open.

"We see one tomato, you're outta here," he joked.

Some fans held up handmade signs decorated with red hearts, professing their love for the singer, others simply shouted it out during pauses in the show.

His hit "She doesn't think she's beautiful," got the crowd's attention but not many responded when he asked them to sing along with the chorus.

Moving quickly from song to song, Kershaw's hour on the stage seemed like half the time as he closed with the ballad, "Love of My Life."

Mother and daughter Mary Clark and Gayle Duffy are two of Kershaw's biggest fans and go together to see him three or four times a year.

"He sings so good," said Clark of Frederick, Md.

"He looks good too," said her daughter Gayle Duffy of Hagerstown.

The concert was also a family outing for the Shank family of Hagerstown.

Four-year-old Casey Shank and her mother Stacy Shank and grandmother Linda Short came out to see Kershaw sing and to present him with a bouquet of red carnations during a "meet and greet," session prior to the show.

Stacy Shank said Kershaw ranks up there with some of country music's legendary singers.

"I love him cause he's so down-to-earth," she said.

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