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Blues Fest announces schedule

March 18, 2002|BY KATE COLEMAN

Blue skies and blues music - all weekend long.

That's the hope and the plan for the seventh annual Western Maryland Blues Fest in Hagerstown, slated for Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2.

There will be blues music acoustic and blues music electric. There will be blues and activities and workshops for kids, blues by veteran players and blues for new and longtime fans.

The festival's programming committee began putting together a performer wish list last September, says David Fitzwater, who chairs the committee.

Although some of the details are subject to change, here's a rundown of what's going to be happening - yes, happening - during this year's festival.

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The music and fun begin Friday evening on the top of the North Potomac Street parking deck with area musicians Rudy and the Bluefish and Duffy Kane.

Downtown in the square on Saturday, June 1, there will be music on two stages from nearly noon 'til nearly night. The lineup includes the local Backroads Blues Band and Koko Blue.

Eddie Shaw, who played saxophone with Muddy Waters, will be on the Potomac Street stage with his Wolf Gang band; guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who played with James Cotton and Howlin' Wolf, will be backed by the Bob Margolin (another Muddy Waters veteran) Band. Toni Lynn Washington will return, and Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the original acoustic Hot Tuna, will be on the Potomac Street stage. The Lloyd Jones Band will play the Washington Street stage with almost all original songs that sound like classics, Fitzwater says.

Walter Trout and The Radicals will wail the day to a close.

Sunday in the park - Hagerstown City Park - will feature Ann Rabson of Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women, The Carey Bell Band, playing electric blues and featuring Bell, a blues pioneer, on harmonica.

The Blind Boys of Alabama, a band that won this year's Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album for "Spirit of the Century," will wrap up the weekend.

There will be food and beverages, as well as a chance to win an oil painting by Kevin Holder - the artwork reproduced on Blues Fest T-shirts and posters. Raffle tickets for the painting are $2 each or three for $5 and will be available at the Washington County Arts Council Gallery, 41 S. Potomac St., in Hagerstown, before and during the festival.

For details still to come, call 301-739-8577, ext. 546, or check out the festival Web site at www.blues-fest.org.

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