Blues brothers

Weekend concert will feature four area bands

Weekend concert will feature four area bands

April 21, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT/Staff Writer

Pete Lancaster's first impression of the blues was from the vantage point of Texas Stadium.

He was attending a ZZ Top concert when Mance Lipscomb, the warmup act, appeared on stage. Lipscomb, a guitarist and singer known for his musical diversity, incorporated some blues into that day's repertoire.

"It changed me forever," Lancaster said.

The latest result of that change will be visible this weekend. On Saturday, April 23, a "Bout with the Blues" will be held at the North American Rod and Gun Club in Hagerstown.

The outdoor concert will feature four area bands: Stack O' Blues, Rudy and the Bluefish, The Rhythm Kings and Duffy Kane and Black Manhattan.


Lancaster, a Hagerstown resident, has been hooked on the blues for more than 20 years - first as a solo artist and now as a member of Stack O' Blues. He started his career in Cleveland, playing local clubs and street fairs.

When he moved to Hagers-town several years ago, he met other blues afficionados, joined a band and began playing locally, including Hagerfest. He also had a hand in organizing the Western Maryland Bluesfest.

"I've just immersed myself in the blues," Lancaster said.

While playing in Cleveland, the musician became familiar with "Bout with the Blues," an old blues concept dating back to the early 1920s when blues musicians would play on the street for pocket change. One musician would perform and a crowd would gather. Then another musician would open up his or her guitar case and start playing. Whomever the crowd thought was better received the change.

Lancaster participated in several "Bouts" while living in Cleveland.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "You would have some great blues guys playing some great music."

It was a concept Lancaster had wanted to bring to the Hagerstown area for some time. "Finally," he said, "we're making it happen."

Unlike the early days, when such events were competitive, Saturday's will be cooperative, Lancaster said. "We're all friends who just want to get together and enjoy a good jam. There will be a lot of talent on stage, so people will have an opportunity to hear some great music. We'll all be at the top of our game."

The event will be held, Lancaster said, rain or shine. If there is rain, the program will be moved indoors.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Bout with the Blues"

WHEN: 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23

WHERE: North American Rod and Gun Club, Hagers-town

COST: Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased from participating band members or at the North American Rod and Gun Club. You must be 21 years old to be admitted.

DIRECTIONS: From Hagerstown, take Md. 64 east. Turn left onto Belvedere Road.

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