Music preview

Vol. 8, No. 29
July 20-26, 2000
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Eastport Will Rock
by Matthew Thomas Pugh

Take a dash of folk, a pinch of blues, a healthy dollop of rock and roll, mix it up with a dozen other melodious spices, and you have a mystery stew hearty enough to satisfy the most insatiable musical appetite.

The Fourth Annual Eastport-A-Rockin’ benefit street festival has been simmering on the back burner for months. Now it’s ready to be served up this Saturday, July 22, in Eastport, Annapolis.

This local fiesta benefits the Sexual Assault & Crisis Center of Annapolis. A mere $8 donation gets you into the swingingest party in town.

The menu promises to satisfy many tastes. At least a dozen Annapolis area sponsors have joined forces to assemble a buffet of foods, beers, arts and crafts, moon-bounce, dunking-booths and clowns. But above all these treats is the music, sweet music.

“This is a celebration of music,” said Eastport-A-Rockin’ organizer and Café Gurus owner Jim Borchelt. “I wanted to draw attention to this [Eastport] part of Annapolis, to bring people together in music for a good cause. I know people who are victims of sexual assault, so this event is also personal for me.”

With the help of Eastport activist Josh Cohen and Jessica Earle, Borchelt carefully cooked up this concoction so only the best in local music will grace the dinner stage.

“These are the best of the best in the area,” said WRNR DJ and festival emcee Scott James. “It’s going to be the biggest music fest Annapolis has to offer.”

Space out to the loosely structured grooves of Full Moon Jam, Annapolis’ front-running jam band. Filled with funky peaks and valleys, trippy twists and turns, Full Moon’s psychedelic, day-glow sound will leave you zoning between sky and ground.

Paint yourself blue with Dean Rosenthal and The Resophonics. You need only a mustard-seed size of blues understanding to appreciate Rosenthal. The man is cool and soul-full. His slide guitar work and the Resophonic repertoire will take you down to the muddy river bottom, to swirl through all that is both heart-wrenching and triumphant about the blues.

Step outside yourself and into the island waves of the High Tide Steel Drum Band. This colorful bunch will amaze you with the distant-shore sounds they create from instruments they’ve built. Who’d have ever thought trash cans, pots, pans, buckets and mason jars could ring so true — especially in Annapolis.

Tune into the familiar local sounds of J. Ha-Ha from Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. Ha-Ha has been playing a few solo gigs in town recently, and while they’re not “Shack” attacks, they are impressive. Expect a few surprises from Ha-Ha. An entertainer and a professional, he knows how to get into your blood.

There are simply too many great acts to name: at least seven more equally worthy for one reason or another.

If all that ain’t enough to tempt your tummy, a dish from the city of brotherly love will be thrown onto the table.

WRNR has added the South Philly band Marah to the bill, and, boy, are these guys something. These blue-collar rockers raised hell at the Ram’s Head Tavern last Tuesday with a raw, rip-roaring, hard-nosed guitar blitzkrieg.

“You don’t want to miss this show,” said James. “This will be the best eight bucks you’ve spent in a long time.”

The Eastport-A-Rockin’ festival started in the summer of ‘97 and has since quadrupled in number of bands. Borchelt and James agree that Annapolis is slowly earning a place on the map of musically reputable cities. This festival is a testimony to just that.

Take a bite out of Eastport-A-Rockin’ on the water at Second St. and Eastern Ave., Eastport, from 11am to dusk. For updates , listen to WRNR 103.1 on your FM dial. If you need info on vending, call Jim at 410/295-0601.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly