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Musicians pull strings to kick off Hagerstown's Music by the Lake concert series

July 12, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Marie and Gaither Dean have been Critton Hollow String Band "groupies" for decades.

On Saturday, the couple arrived early for the kickoff concert of this summer's Music by the Lake series at City Park.

The Critton Hollow String Band, which hasn't played in Hagerstown for about 15 years, was the featured band.

When Marie Dean first heard Sam Herrmann, who plays dulcimer for the band, perform, she was inspired to take up the instrument herself, Dean said.

"I play at it," she said.

On Saturday, the Deans brought dinner from Subway to the park.

"You can bring food, take your shoes off and have a good time," Marie Dean said.

Herrmann on Saturday described the band's acoustic music as "traditional and contemporary American music." While the group used to tour the U.S. and United Kingdom, they now stay closer to home, the musicians said.

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Donald and Shirley Hutson often attend the bluegrass concerts on Saturday nights.

"We love bluegrass music," said Shirley Hutson, 68. "I like to hear the banjo and the fiddler."

Donald Hutson, 70, said he likes bluegrass because the songs usually have a story to them.

The Hutsons had seen the Critton Hollow String Band perform in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., Donald Hutson said.

"They play a variety of bluegrass-type music," he said.

Hutson also likes the Saturday concerts because they are alcohol-free, he said.

He especially is excited for next week's performers, the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition, Hutson said.

"Our intention is to bring the best from the region to Hagerstown," said Kevin Moriarty, executive director of the Washington County Arts Council.

Moriarty tries to bring back people's favorite performers every year, but also include something fresh. Saturday was the first time that the Critton Hollow String Band performed at the concert series.

The council and City of Hagerstown, with help from the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors' Bureau, sponsor the event.




If you go

What: Music by the Lake

When: Saturdays through Aug. 30, 7 p.m.

Where: Peter Buys band shell, City Park, Hagerstown

Among the bands performing this summer are the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition, Dead Men's Hollow, South Mountain String Band and Homegrown String Band.

For information, go to www.washingtoncountyarts.com/music_lake.htm

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