Blues, poetry program plays on sexuality

March 15, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Blues music usually comes down to two people feeling kind of sexy, explained blues guitarist Don Oehser.

"It's not an ethereal thing. It's not a heady thing like classical music, where it's all in your head. (Blues is) all about the feeling of it," said Oehser. "And usually that feeling comes down to a man and a woman."

On Sunday, Oehser will perform at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts as part of a program called "Grace and the Blues on This Sexy Planet," which will wed the blues with poetry.

The featured poets for the blues-and-poetry event on Sunday are Rob Carney, a professor in Utah who most recently authored the poetry book "This is One Sexy Planet," and Grace Cavalieri, an Annapolis, Md., author who wrote "What I Would Do for Love."


The program is the second in a three-part series, "A Change of Pace: Poetry and Jazz," which is designed to attract younger visitors to the museum, said Christine Shives, who is on the museum's programing board.

The series debuted in October with a jazz-meets-poetry theme and attracted roughly 90 visitors to the museum - many of them younger than the museum's typical 50-and-older crowd.

Oehser, who lives near Keedysville, will perform a 20-minute set with his wife, Laura First, after the poets' set. He has been performing professionally for 35 years, even after an accident cost him two of his playing fingers in 2003.

While he plays other forms of music, he likes the blues because of its raw emotion.

"You can play 1,000 notes and say nothing," said Oehser of other forms of music, "or you can play only one note and say a paragraph."

The next event in the museum's "A Change of Pace" series, set in April, will have a crime poetry theme and will feature Renaissance music, Shives said.

For more information, visit or call 301-739-5727.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Grace and the Blues on This Sexy Planet," a program of poetry and music

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18. A half-hour reception will follow the program.

WHERE: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Free

MORE: Call 301-739-5727 or visit

The Herald-Mail Articles