Sights and sounds of Blues Fest

June 06, 2005|by ADAM BEHSUDI

Jacob Yarrow
Warm Springs, Va.

Furiously scratching down notes on the front of his program, one would not think Jacob Yarrow of Warm Springs was here for fun.

"To see how it all functions is in many ways more interesting," said Yarrow, managing director of the Garth Newel Music Center in Warm Springs, four hours south of Hagerstown.

He was taking notes Saturday to take back to the music center, a venue for smaller performances. Yarrow hopes to possibly host a blues fest for the nonprofit center he directs.


As a musician, Yarrow said the Western Maryland Blues Fest was put together nicely and is well-known. He had never been to Hagerstown before, even though he used to live in Frederick, Md.

Yarrow, who plays the saxophone, said he has played plenty of blues music throughout his career.

"I've played my fair share of bars. Not recently though," he said.

Lorena Garcia, 23

Even though Lorena Garcia has lived in Hagerstown only two years, she has been to the Western Maryland Blues Fest each year she has been here. Garcia, who recently moved from Mexico, knows good music when she hears it.

Not for a lack of language skills, Garcia, 23, only could come up with a two-word answer as to why she liked the festival.

"The music," she said.

Garcia was attending Saturday's festival with her cousin.

As The Dirty Dozen Brass Band prepared for the next performance, Garcia said blues music was popular in Mexico. When she found out about the Blues Fest last year, she decided to check out blues music firsthand.

So far, she said she has not been let down.

Kierstan Boyd
Chesapeake Beach, Md.

Kierstan Boyd definitely had her hands full as she chased her 20-month-old son, Sam, down one of the aisles in front of the stage.

"We take Sam to a lot of blues fests," Boyd said. "He can even play the harmonica."

Boyd said she and her husband try to get out to as many blues music festivals as possible. Her husband is starting a blues show on a local radio station near their home in Chesapeake Beach. The Blues Fest, she hopes, will give her husband ideas for the show.

This was their first visit to the Western Maryland Blues Fest.

"I like the lineup of the performers," Boyd said Saturday as she hoisted Sam up to her hip, preventing him from running away. He continued his mischief, however, by throwing his sippy cup repeatedly to the ground in protest.

Boyd set her son back down on the ground and with his feet back under him, he was off again.

Ted Hermann, 57

It was early in the day Saturday and Ted Hermann, a volunteer at the Western Maryland Blues Fest, was taking a break in one of the hundreds of metal folding chairs in front of the Bud Light stage. The crowd had migrated to the other stage as another band started up.

Hermann, 57, of Annapolis, has been attending and volunteering for six years.

"If I'm here, I might as well do something," said Hermann, who works most of his time at the gates. He said he found out about the need for volunteers for the Blues Fest in a magazine and has been coming ever since.

He said he gets double the pleasure by attending the event as a volunteer for a music genre that he enjoys immensely.

Hermann looked at the time and moved on to his next task, preparing for an even larger crowd later in the afternoon.

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