Blues Fest vignettes

June 05, 2010
  • Bob and Michaela Waugh
Heather Keels, Staff Writer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- Each year, Blues Fest brings together people from all walks of life and all over the country. Here are some of their stories:

    Bob and Michaela Waugh, Maugansville

    Blues Fest was new territory for Bob and Michaela Waugh of Maugansville.

    "I don't know anything about blues," Bob Waugh said. "I'm a country music kinda guy."

    The couple decided to check out Blues Fest for the first time this year for something interesting to do and to broaden their musical horizons.

    "My uncle is here," Michaela Waugh said. "He's been into blues forever, so it was an opportunity for him and I to bond and find out what interests him."

    After listening to the first few bands, both said they had developed a taste for the style.


"I think we could definitely get into and enjoy the blues," Michaela said.

Anthony Audain, northeastern Pennsylvania

It was the Internet that led Anthony Audain to Blues Fest from his home in northeastern Pennsylvania.

"I needed to hear some blues, so I went online, and here it was: Hagerstown," said Audain, who hails from Trinidad.

Audain described the event as having a "peaceful, easy feeling" and an emotional energy that reminded him of Brooklyn.

He said he was intrigued by the festival's lineup, which included many bands he hadn't heard, but felt he should.

"Radio tends to be very limiting," he said. "Now, with the advent of the computer, people can stay connected with the custodian of the soul, music, and blues is one of many paths to it."

Bob Ludbehusen, Annandale, Va.

Bob Ludbehusen, 58, of Annandale, Va., brought a guitar to Blues Fest, but he wasn't there to perform. Since winning the guitar in a contest when Michael Burks put out his "Iron Man" album, Ludbehusen has been collecting signatures from great blues guitarists.

"I have about 30," he said.

Ludbehusen remembers getting the call that he had won the guitar.

"I thought it was a joke," he said.

The guitar is for display only, but Ludbehusen said he couldn't play it even if he wanted. He was learning to play guitar in the 1970s when he was in a car accident that ended his guitar-playing aspirations.

"I can't fret anymore with my left fingers," he said.

Dan Pastor, Boothwyn, Pa.

It was blues that attracted Dan Pastor to Hagerstown, but there was plenty more for him to see while he was here.

Pastor, 56, of Boothwyn, Pa., said he was camping at Greenbrier State Park and had done some sightseeing at Antietam National Battlefield and Fort Frederick State Park.

He said it was his first time attending Blues Fest, but he had been hearing about it from friends for years.

Before coming to the festival, Pastor read about all of the bands online. He said he was particularly looking forward to hearing Saturday's headliner, Tommy Castro, after reading praise for him from Carlos Santana.

He said British guitar player Joanne Shaw Taylor was impressive.

"We were really looking forward to (Taylor) and we weren't disappointed," he said.

Jim Oestereich and Sali Gelestino, Hagerstown

An unexpected guest at a Friday night blues jam convinced Sali Gelestino that Saturday's Blues Fest performances were worth the admission price.

Gelestino and her boyfriend, Jim Oestereich, were at Zodiac Bar and Grill on Dual Highway, which hosts regular blues jams, when Blues Fest performer Hamilton Loomis showed up and joined in.

"So it was like, if it's that good, then we need to come out here for the day and see more," Gelestino said.

Most years, she said, they only attend Blues Fest's free Sunday picnic in City Park.

Greg Pasay

When Greg Pasay got divorced 10 years ago, his wife got the real property and he got a new life as a music festival nomad.

"I gave it all up," he said. "I said, 'Well, I'll go for a drive,' and I never went back."

Now, Pasay, 60, said he lives on the road, going from music festival to music festival. The choices get slimmer in the winter, but this time of year, he always has plenty of festivals and concerts to choose from, especially since he isn't picky about the type of music he sees.

"I like almost all," he said. "Rock and roll, blues, zydeco, jazz."

Pasay said he held a variety of jobs over the years, including one as a cook in the Merchant Marines, but now is retired.

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