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Hicks' loyal fan base expected to pack The Maryland Theatre

July 01, 2007

Taylor Hicks is no longer on "American Idol," but he still provides plenty of opportunities for his fan base, collectively dubbed the Soul Patrol, to keep up with him.

Hicks, 30, keeps a blog at his Web site, www.taylorhicks.com, and has informal videos of his life behind the scenes posted at www.youtube.com/taylorhicksmusic.

While Williamsport resident Geraldine Andrews said she hadn't seen Hicks' blog entries or YouTube videos, she said she checks the news at his Web site regularly.

"I love his music. ... He just makes a lot of sense," said Andrews, 53. "He's just a down-to-earth all-American and that, to me, that's what 'American Idol' should be."

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Hicks' loyal fan following is one reason Brian Sullivan, executive director of The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown, is so happy to have Hicks performing in the historic 1,377-seat theater on Friday, July 6. As of Thursday, June 28, all but 120 tickets were sold.

"Everyone knows him. His music's really very excellent. He has a huge following and having him at The Maryland Theatre opens up the doors to a lot more (artists) coming in," Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he's been aggressively marketing the theater to potential performers, including going after Hicks. He tries to lure artists who could stop by the theater on their way to other gigs. The access to Interstates 81 and 70, and fairly close proximity to Interstate 95 helps, he said.

Hicks is another name he can add to the list of well-known artists who have performed at the theater in its 93-year history, a list he rattles off when trying to book acts.

The list includes George Carlin, who has become kind of a regular at the theater, Steven Seagal, Blue Oyster Cult, Tom Jones, and the late Bob Hope, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash.

Another act that is confirmed is the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra from Croatia. The orchestra is making its U.S. premiere at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Maryland Theatre is the No. 2 stop on its tour Sunday, Nov. 4.

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