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Fans enjoy blues despite weather

June 06, 2004|By CANDICE BOSELY

Neither the drizzle nor the driving rain was going to keep Larry Jackson away.

"The way I look at it is if you can work in the rain, you can play in the rain," said Jackson, one of the stalwart blues fans who came out Saturday for the second day of the ninth annual Western Maryland Blues Fest.

Like many others, Jackson came prepared. He wore waterproof pants, a waterproof jacket and a baseball cap.

Heavy rain greeted his morning arrival.

"I've had to put on a couple of layers since then," he said.

By the afternoon, the weather had been reduced to drizzle, complete with unseasonably cool temperatures.

Because of rain-related problems, today's festivities have been moved from City Park to the city's parking lot off Potomac Street. The event still will be free and a picnic is planned, organizers said.

As a throaty Miss E.C. Scott - wearing a red dress while her musicians wore white shirts and black vests - played to a large crowd, Mel Kidd staked out a couple of chairs.

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Kidd, from Dover, Del., not only loves blues music, but also uses the festival as an escape method.

"This has become our refuge from the spring (NASCAR) race," she said.

Because today's NASCAR MBNA 400 at Dover International Speedway causes traffic hassles and the city's population to triple, some people flee from the area, she said.

Rebecca Forney, of Williamsport, had two umbrellas dangling from her wrist. Rain did not stop her from enjoying her trip to Universal Studios and it wasn't going to prevent her from enjoying the blues, she said.

"When we want to go somewhere, we just dress for the weather," she said.

Alan and Rosalyn Sally drove to the festival from their home outside of Pittsburgh.

"I'm a blues enthusiast," Alan Sally said. "It just seems like it's unpretentious, more original heartfelt music."

He declared a drizzle better than heat and humidity.

"I don't mind it. It's a little rainy, but it's cool," he said.

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