2014 Dundalk Heritage Fair
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:09

Uncle Sam (Jerry Brown) greeted fair attendees as they entered the park; 



Heart By Heart wins over Heritage Fair audience Friday night


  by Bill Gates

    The audience for the Heritage Fair’s featured act on Friday night was smaller than usual; apparently, many people changed their plans when the original performers, Crack the Sky, had to cancel due to an injury to one of the band members.
    Their loss.
    The replacement band, Heart By Heart, flew in from Seattle on short notice and put on an outstanding show.
    Outstanding in a “close your eyes  and listen and you could believe it was Ann and Nancy Wilson up there performing” during certain songs sort of way.
    Heart by Heart calls itself a Heart “spin-off” band, as it includes two of the band’s original members: drummer Mike Derosier and bassist Steve Fossen.
    As 100.7 The Bay disc jockey and Dundalk resident Mike Brilhart introduced the band, “This is the first time members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have graced the Dundalk Heritage Festival stage.”
    Derosier and Fossen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 along with the other original members of the band Heart.
    Heart By Heart agreed to play the Heritage Fair a little more than a week before the June 27 date.
    Fossen said the band was negotiating with Starleigh Entertainment contact Tom Moon to perform at a private party.
    During the negotiations, Crack the Sky had to drop out of the Heritage Fair and Moon asked Fossen if Heart By Heart was interested in the gig.
    “We checked with the airlines, totaled the cost, and felt it was doable,” Fossen said. “Plus, Tom said there were good crab cakes out here.”
    The band played 18 classic Heart hits from the 1970s and ‘80s in its 90-minute set.
    “Cooking with Fire” led off, followed by “Straight On,” “Magic Man,” “How Can I Refuse?” and “Even it Up.”
    Fossen then pointed out a cloud formation that resembled a Playboy Bunny, and keyboardist Bob Rivers mentioned “We got a guy in Seattle named Balmore, but he spells it wrong.”
    (Rivers was apparently referring to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.)
    The band played the classic “Dog and Butterfly,” then the ‘80’s standard “Alone” followed by “Keep Your Love Alive” and “Kick it Up.”
     In an interview after the concert, lead singer Somar Macek confessed to some nervousness in trying to emulate Ann and Nancy Wilson.
    “It was wonderful here tonight,” she said. “I love seeing so many people here, enjoying the muisic. And nobody left, which was great for us.
    “Being a new group, a new band, we felt a lot of pressure. Could Heart By Heart pull it off? I think we did, through all the responses we got tonight, It was wonderful feedback.”
    The impressive finish of the performance had the band playing “Never,” “All I Want To Do,” “Bebe Le Strange,” “What about Love?” “Mistral Wind,” “Dreamboat Annie,” “Crazy On You” and “Barracuda.”
    The final run, with the band smoothly transitioning from “Dreamboat Annie” through to “Barracuda” without pause, was particularly impressive in sounding like the originals.
    “Ann and Nancy would be proud,” a member of the audience told Fossen after the show, while the members of Heart By Heart were mingling with the crowd, signing autographs and posing for photos.
    For the encore, the group went with two non-Heart songs: Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” and Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
    Derosier said he felt no pressure to live up to Heart.
    “I put pressure on myself, to not mess with the arrangements but keeping it fresh,” he said.
    “The crowd was great tonight; we didn’t know how it was going to be, but it was fun. This was sort of a last-minute trip, but I’ve done a lot of that kind of stuff,” Derosier said.
    This was Heart by Heart’s first airplane ride as a band.
    “It was really exciting for us,” Macek said. “And to the East Coast, of all places.”
    Heart By Heart is currently working on a two-disc CD it will sell on its website (www.heartbyheart.com) and at concerts.
    “The [Heritage Fair] crowd was great, really fantastic,” said backup vocalist and guitarist Lizzy Daymont. “Everyone seemed to love the music, and that makes us happy.”



Night Ranger performs, draws audience into show


by Bill Gates

    Jefferson Starship could learn a lesson or two from Night Ranger.
    When the iconic band played the Heritage Fair last year, it performed one song after the other with nary a word to the crowd.
    Not Night Ranger. When the band most known for ‘80s hits “Sister Christian” and “When You Close Your Eyes” took the Shipway main stage on Saturday night, they were there to interact.
    “This has got to be God’s country,” lead singer Jack Blades said during a pause after the band’s opening three songs. “Look at this weather. “We’re having a party, Dundalk-style, on a gorgeous Saturday night.”
    Blades then recounted how the band had been in Louisiana the night before and had enjoyed a meal of crawfish.
    “But as soon as we got into Baltimore, we each ate about 65 crabcakes. I think keyboardist Eric Levy set the record; he had about 68 crab cakes.”
    And that was just the start of the band’s dialogue with the audience, a sizable group that packed the area in front of the main stage clear up to the Beer Garden.
    As the band was about to perform “Sentimental Street” with vocals by drummer Kelly Keagy, the audience was reminded how difficult it can be to sing and play drums at the same time.
    “Kelly is one of the five best-singing drummers,” Blades said. “Anyone know who the others are?”
    The consensus was: Don Henley, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr and Dave Grohl (what, no Karen Carpenter? No one remembers John Bonham?)
    Night Ranger opened with “Touch of Madness,” “Sing Me Away” and “Coming of Age,” prior to “Sentimental Street”.
    The audience then learned — or was reminded — that guitarist Brad Gillis once played with Ozzy Ozbourne, which was reason enough for Night Ranger to perform “Crazy Train.”
    “As you see, we’re going to play whatever we want,” Blades said. “Is that okay with you people out there?”
    To emphasize that point, the band then played the title song from the 1980s Michael J. Fox movie “The Secret of my Success.”
    (Sure, it is their song, but has anyone actually seen that movie? Some things about the ‘80s are best forgotten. Then again, it did have Helen Slater in her prime.)
    “Who here is at their first concert? Raise your hand,” Blades asked the crowd. When someone did, he said “What are you, about 40? You have to get out more.”
    With the concert hitting the home stretch, Blades warned everyone they had better have brought their singing voices along.
    “People will ask you on Sunday how you enjoyed the festival, and you’ll try to talk but will have lost your voice,” he said.
    The audience was invited to sing along with “High Road,” “Eddie” and “High Enough” and “4 A.M.”
    “That’s more like the Maryland we know and love,” Blades said, holding a microphone out toward the audience.
    Then it was time to stop toying with the crowd and perform “When You Close Your Eyes.”
    That was followed by “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” as fans shouted for “Sister Christian.”
    But first, of course, the band had to walk offstage as the lights went out.
    But, unlike last year when Jefferson Starship didn’t perform “Miracles” (hey, the short version would have been fine), Night Ranger returned to the stage and performed “Sister Chrisian” before closing with “Rock in America.”
    Before the encore, Blades had talked about Night Ranger’s start in 1982, how a couple of guys in their twenties were sitting around and trying to write songs.
    “Thirty-two years later? Who would have thought?” Blades said. “When you stop creating, you die. So we’re never going to stop creating.”



Travis Tritt brings country flavor to Dundalk Heritage Fair 


 by Ben Boehl

    Travis Tritt attracted so many fans to the Dundalk Heritage Fair that he thought he had set a record. 
    The country singer performed his popular songs  “Anymore,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “It’s a Great Day to be Alive,” “Take it Easy,” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” and many more. It appeared that the evening was over after “T-R-O-U-B-L-E”, but the crowd exploded with excitement when he returned to play his popular song “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde.”
    He then gave a tribute to his late friend Waylon Jennings by playing a few of his hits.
    Tritt played for over an hour and 40 minutes and thanked the Dundalk crowd for coming out to the fair.
    The singer had performed at a concert in Virginia on Saturday before coming to Dundalk on Sunday.
    “What a great weekend of shows —many thanks to the fans that attended both shows .... I appreciate all of you,” Tritt’s Facebook page read an hour after his Sunday show.
    Tritt also tweeted out that he set a record for attendance at the Heritage Fair.
    “I’m told we broke a 20-year attendance record for this event in Maryland tonight! All credit goes to the fans,” Tritt wrote.
    However, Joe Falbo, president of the Dundalk Heritage Fair Association, said that Tritt had brought in 7,000 to 8,000 people to the fair, and that last year’s headliner rock band Three Dog Night drew around 9,500 visitors to the Fair.
    “[Tritt] had a decent crowd, but it wasn’t as good as Three Dog Night,” Falbo said.
    Falbo estimated that the Fair brought in around 30,000 people for the weekend, which he said is about the average for each year.
    “It got better each day. Friday was the typical Friday with it being a workday, but Saturday was good and Sunday was a little bit better,” Falbo said. “The food vendors had long lines, which makes them happy.”
    Falbo said Tritt, Night Ranger and Heart by Heart were very accommodating and added that they were impressed with the Heritage Fair.
    “Even though this is at a park, these [bands] are impressed that we have a professional stage and professional sound and lighting.”



2014 Heritage Fair Pictures


Clockwise from top: Phineas T. Waggs (Jerry Brown) and his monkey pal, Django, entertained visitors; fairgoers enjoyed the petting zoo; pig racing delighted young and old alike; Uncle Sam (Jerry Brown) greeted fair attendees as they entered the park; Heritage Park was decked out for the fair festivities; local dignitaries, including (from left) Del. Mike Weir, Del. John Olszewski Jr, Councilman John Olszewski Sr., state Sen. Norman Stone, Heritage Fair Association president Joe Falbo and community activist Angel Ball, cut the ribbon to officially kick-off the 2014 Dundalk Heritage Fair.

all photos by Michael Rodman, except Phineas T. Waggs by Dotty Cristy






From top: Top row: (front, from left) Fields Renner, John Geci, Margie Renner, Liz Geci and (back) Alice Fogle took in the sights and sounds; Dotty and Joe Cristy enjoyed the music; middle row: (from left) Dawn Smith, Barbara Smith and James Smith relaxed; fairgoers enjoyed thrilling rides; bottom row: a variety of classic cars were on display; members (from left) Hank Beckman and Larry Delss spread the word about Dundalk’s award-winning Chorus of the Chesapeake.

all photos by Roland Dorsey