Wooo hoo...it's no secret that I am a huge blues fan. The Western Maryland Blues Festival is one of our favorites being only 30 minutes up the road. A scheduling snafu caused by me not paying attention meant we missed Friday and Saturday this year, however the Sunday family picnic is always awesome in the beautiful Hagerstown City Park.
The storm forecast doesn't put off the die hards and we enjoyed a great afternoon of very funky blues. One of the cool aspects of the Sunday festival is the chance to attend workshops with some of the artists, this year being headliner Hamilton Loomis, a player who seamlessly moves between blues, funk and Stax/Volt soul, refusing to be pigeonholed and simply writing songs from his heart. Honest and authentic were Bobbi's words for his workshop, covering inspiration for songs, sharing the artists who influenced him growing up and telling stories of what touches him.
His set on the main stage was delayed thanks to a monstrous thunderstorm that blew through, those who waited it out were treated to a superb set starting with "Parter in Crime" and ending with a jaw dropping cover of "Purple Rain" as a tribute to someone who influenced his playing greatly. As a little side note, each act at this festival is accompanied by a person signing for the deaf at the side of the stage, it's just something a little neat, and looking down our row of seats and watching a couple of audience members signing (signing ?) back was rather cool.
Oh, and yes, I'm just enough of an aging fanboy to have had my picture taken with him - ;-)
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