Blues fest fever

Bash gives fans a taste of coming festival

Bash gives fans a taste of coming festival

March 03, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM


The main event is three months away, but eager music fans were able to sample some of what they will hear at The Western Maryland Blues Fest in June when they crowded into the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center Antietam Creek Thursday night.

The Blues Fest committee hosted a Cabin Fever Blues Bash, a prelude to the 11th annual Blues Fest, scheduled June 2-4.

About 200 people attended the event.

Gary Palank of Hagerstown said Thursday's concert was a chance to listen to good music and get him in the mood for Blues Fest.


He has been out of town for the past two events, but said he was looking forward to this year.

"I really enjoy the music," Palank said.

David Skinner of Hagerstown said he has missed only one of the past 10 events. He said this year's Blues Fest should be the best yet because of the people scheduled to perform there.

"It's a great time for people who like the blues," Skinner said. "They will enjoy it."

He said it is always a family event for him. Skinner takes his children and tries to go with his four brothers.

Albert Cummings, one of the most popular entertainers at Blues Fest in 2005, performed Thursday night at the Blues Bash.

Lynn Caffarelli of Greencastle, Pa., said she has never missed a Blues Fest.

"Blues Fest is my favorite weekend of the year," she said.

She said she was at Blues Bash to get a taste of the main event.

"I go for the music," she said.

Thursday, she was with her boyfriend, Roger Yarnall of Hagerstown, who said he went to Blues Fest for the first time last year and planned to go again this year.

Wendy Werner of Hagerstown said she attended Thursday to support the main event and also to listen to the blues. She said she attends Blues Fest every year.

This year, some of her friends from Wisconsin are traveling to Hagerstown for the event.

"This is putting Hagerstown on the map," she said.

Larry Banks, who has been the master of ceremonies at Blues Fest each year, said the event has grown. It started with one stage, but last year Banks said he was running among several stages announcing all of the acts.

Caleb Benchoff of Williamsport has never attended Blues Fest, but went with some friends to the Blues Bash.

"I just thought I'd come check out the music," he said. "So far, it's good."

He said he planned to be at Blues Fest in June.

Blues Fest artwork, created by artist Mick Williams, was on display Thursday night.

The lineup

  • Pops Walker

  • The Skyla Burrell Blues Band

  • The Rhythm Kings

  • 2Blue Ensemble

  • The Deb Callahan Band

  • Joe Bonamassa

  • Bonedaddy Band

  • The Nicole Nelson Band

  • The Holmes Brothers

  • John Lee Hooker, Jr.

  • Kelly Bell Band

  • Sugar Ray & the Bluetones

  • Tab Benoit

  • The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

  • Blue Rhythm Boys

  • David Bach Consort

  • The Carl Filipiak Group

  • Rosie Ledet and The Zydeco Playboys

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