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Stoney Creek's pickin' leaves audience grinnin'

August 07, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • The Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band performs Saturday evening at City Park's Peter Buys Bandshell. From left are banjo player Darrell Sanders, mandolin player Brett Smeltzer and bass player Libby Files. Guitar player Ed Barney is not pictured.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN -- As Stoney Creek was pickin', Dennis King and Charlotte Saunders were grinnin'.

King and Saunders, who are brother and sister, sat in chairs at Hagerstown City Park, listening to the bluegrass music and loving it.

Saunders said bluegrass was a staple in her family when she and her brother grew up in Hagerstown.

Asked what musicians he likes, King named several -- the Monroe Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Ricky Skaggs.

The Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band was the fourth and last band to play in this year's Music by the Lake series at City Park.

The schedule started with Tori Anderson & Possum Holler on July 17, then Patent Pending Bluegrass Band on July 24, then Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition on July 31.

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The Washington County Arts Council presents the free series with help from the City of Hagerstown.

Sam Shoemaker of Boonsboro said he likes bluegrass music and is glad he can hear it locally. Looking out over the crowd, which included many retirement-age people like him, Shoemaker said the concert series offers "cheap entertainment, country air."

In the crowd of a few hundred people, about nine residents from NMS Healthcare, a nursing rehabilitation center north of Hagerstown, sat near the front.

Myron Kauffman, an activities director at the center, said he tries to plan at least one trip to a City Park concert per year.

It makes for a good local trip and it doesn't cost anything, he said.

"For me to get a four-piece band (at the center) is more expensive than I can afford," Kauffman said.

The four pieces in Stoney Creek were: Libby Files on bass, Darrell Sanders on banjo, Ed Barney on guitar and Brett Smeltzer on mandolin. All are from West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

Right up King's alley, the band played something by the Stanley Brothers and something by Bill Monroe as part of its set.

Later, Mike Richards of Hagerstown clutched a Stoney Creek CD, trying to figure out how he could get the band to play a song on it for him -- "When My Time Comes to Go."

He wanted to dedicate it to his friend, Lawrence Dickson, who died Tuesday and was buried Saturday.

Richards explained his request to someone connected to the band. A short time later, Stoney Creek played the song and dedicated it to Dickson, earning a big cheer from Richards in the audience.

Dickson belonged to Greater Campher Temple in Hagerstown, was a welder with CANAM Steel in Point of Rocks, Md., and was a union steward with the Steelworkers Union, according to his obituary.

"I've known him all my life," Richards said.

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