Hot August Blues

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Photo by Theresa Keil

Hot August Blues Festival

As the story goes, the Hot August Blues festival started in Brad Selko’s backyard nearly twenty years ago. At the time, a friend of Brad’s had the idea of having a picnic, featuring blues harp legend Charlie Musselwhite, at his farm. Between three and four hundred people showed up the first year. Each year more and more people made their way to the show as word spread. The festival has since outgrown Brad’s backyard. This this years total is around 6000 people. Past performances at Hot August Blues include the likes of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Eric Lindell, The North Mississippi All-Stars, Dickey Betts & Great Southern and The Derek Trucks Band.

This festival has the laid back positivity of a family reunion and, if you’ve lived in the area for any considerable length of time, the odds of running into old friends are pretty good.

Part of the proceeds from Hot August Blues goes to benefit Common Ground On The Hill, an organization whose goal it is to teach, study and present a wide variety of musical and cultural traditions in order to illustrate the “common ground that unites us.”

The Big Picture:

Who can hold the attention of over 6000 people for an hour or so with just a guitar and whole lot of soul? Keb’ Mo’ can, that’s who. The legendary performer entranced the audience with a simple, subtle spell that infused Oregon Ridge Park with gentle good vibes.

Cover photo by Theresa Keil.

Photo by Brooke Hall

Chas. Phillips, Jesse Bowen and William J. Smith.

The antidote to a severe case of the blues, as one can plainly see, is beer.

The Good Word.

www.allianceforpeacebuilding.org

The Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) is a coalition of diverse organizations and professionals working together to build sustainable peace and security worldwide.

Help build peace.

Photo by Brooke Hall

If you’re curious as to how one becomes the chairman of the English Department at a major university, don’t count out living in a cave with hippies on an island off of Greece. That’s what Edwin Duncan did long before chairing the English Department at Towson University. With him is the legendary Clarinda Harriss, the founder of BrickHouse Books, Maryland’s oldest continuously operating small press.

Photo by Brooke Hall

While Black Joe and the Honey Bears kept most peoples interest, the real drama was unfolding within the crowd. This is where we found an epic battle unfolding on a miniature chess board between chess legend/musician Shodekeh and child prodigy Colin Dubose. The match went on for what seemed to be several minutes. The outcome of the match is still unknown as we were eventually distracted and wandered off.

www.lot201.com

Original apparel designs by Julie Bent.

Call Julie for an appointment: 410.929.1183.

Photo by Brooke Hall

Gavin Scott, you, Sir, are the winner of this week’s prestigious and highly coveted ‘Out Of Over 6000 People You Were The Only Person We Found Sporting A Mohawk And That, For Reasons Still Unknown, Makes You Special (and in the good way, not the learning disabled way)’ award. Congratulations, looks like all that hard work finally paid off.

Photo by Theresa Keil

You’re never too old…

Photo by Theresa Keil.

Since 1995, The Creative Alliance has promoted Baltimore as a dynamic center of art in all genres. With members ranging from artists and educators to neighbors and supports, the Creative Alliance cultivates community through collaboration.

Photo by Brooke Hall

Larry and Kay live across the street from What Weekly World Headquarters where they’re subject to all manner of odd goings on. The fact that they can keep a sunny disposition in the face of our eccentricities bodes to their good nature. Hey Larry, remember when you dinged my car with that U-Haul and you did the right thing and left a note? Remember how I told you with a straight face that I had already contacted my lawyer and you believed me? Sorry about that. Sometimes the need to amuse myself supersedes any good sense that my mother tried to instill, but I can assure you that I’m seriously working on it.

Photo by Brooke Hall

We were extremely fortunate to run across one of the most influential blues men of our generation. Baby Face Jenkins is the man behind such classics as “Cootie Girl Blues,’ ‘The Poopy Pants Boogie’ and ‘A Banjo and A Blankie.’ We don’t usually get star struck at What Weekly but we made an exception under these circumstances.

Photo by Brooke Hall

Legendary artist Minas Konsolas attempted to camouflage himself during the event by matching his shirt to his chair so as to avoid the always present paparazzi. Photographer Brooke Hall wasn’t fooled and obtained this photo after penetrating the line of security that follows Konsolas everywhere. He was unaware of this photo as the camera was disguised as a cheeseburger. As you can see, Konsolas loves cheeseburgers.

Photo by Theresa Keil

By our count Lyle Lovett’s large band included 3783 musicians including Abu the Flute Maker, though don’t quote me on that. He didn’t perform until after we drank the brandy so our count maybe a little off. As you can see, the stage was adorned with art work by none other than Minas Konsolas who was gracious enough to allow Lyle Lovett to stand in front of it. Lovett gave a rousing performance that, in my opinion, was inspired by Konsolas’ work.

Photo by Theresa Keil.

Photo by Theresa Keil

I can honestly say that I never paid much attention to Lyle Lovett until this night. He certainly wouldn’t have been on my list of performers that I’m inspired to go see. After seeing him live I can understand why he has gained such a large following. His song ‘I Will Rise Up’ was the most powerful performance of the day. I dare you to follow the link and listen to the song. If you tell me that you can’t appreciate it on some level I would think you were lying.

Photo by Theresa Keil.

Photo by Theresa Keil

It appears as though god sat in on bass during Lyle Lovett’s performance. I have yet to learn of a more potent endorsement.

Photo by Theresa Keil.

Brooke Hall

Photographer. Brooke is the co-founder and publisher of What Weekly.

Justin Allen

Justin is a co-founder and managing editor of What Weekly. He also runs What Works Studio with Brooke Hall, the studio that publishes What Weekly.

Theresa Keil

Theresa is a freelance photographer based in Baltimore

  • Peggy Hoffman

    Oh my god! You made me laugh so hard that wine snorted out my nose. That is proof of your fine journalism. And the photography was great! Minas would like to remind you that he likes his burgers medium.