EDGESTOCK INVADES FORT HOWARD
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:50

Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, was among the performers at the 2013 Edgestock Music Festival. The band returns for this year’s festival on Saturday, June 21. photo from ESP Rec Council archives

Tribute bands lead roster of performers

by John G. Bailey

In what is fast becoming a North Point peninsula tradition, music and merriment will fill the air Saturday, June 21, from 12:30 to 10 p.m. at Fort Howard Park with the ninth annual Edgerock Music Festival fundraiser.
    Sponsored by the Edgemere-Sparrows Point Recreation Council, the festival’s name pays homage to Woodstock, the iconic celebration of music, which took place 45 years ago this summer. 
    Word has gotten around about the day-long event and attendance has grown from 100 in 2006 to 600 during last year’s festival. 
    The area’s best horseshoe players compete at the festival’s annual tournament, while children enjoy face-painting, crafts and games, adults slake their thirsts at a beer and wine garden and everyone enjoys pit beef, pit ham and hot dogs prepared by ESP volunteers.
 “Its an all-volunteer event,” festival chairperson Dave Darr emphasized.
    But live music is the festival’s main attraction. From 1 to 10 p.m., the sounds of rock and country cover bands echo throughout the park and the old fort. Some of the louder bands may bring to mind the roar of long-silent batteries.
    The music starts this year with My Boy Blue, a local modern country and classic rock band. Begun seven years ago as a trio, the group recently added a fourth member. Their music is familiar to patrons of Pop’s Tavern, where the band performs regularly.
    “We play mostly modern country [covers],” percussionist Mike Needer told The Eagle.
    More interpretative than imitative, My Boy Blue’s versions of popular tunes reflect the influence of country star Luke Bryan —  the band’s favorite performer — according to Needer.
    Southern Exposure, a band from Baltimore that styles itself a southern rock and classic country band, follows in the lineup. Think The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd tempered with George Jones and Waylon Jennings.
    The sound then transitions to the raw high-volume rock of AC/DC tribute band High Voltage.
    With each of the band’s five members peforming as one of AC/DC’s members, High Voltage strives to deliver the essence of a live AC/DC performance.  
    “We spend a lot of time in rehearsals trying to come as close to the original [AC/DC] songs as possible,” said Mike DiMayo, who performs as Malcolm Young, AC/DC’s guitarist and vocalist. 
    The band formed four years ago. “It [High Voltage] began as a conversation during a New Year’s Eve party,” DiMayo said.
    The group has played at biker shows, festivals and beach shows. “Our performances [which are] geared towards charitable organizations are the most gratifying,” said DiMayo. Last year, High Voltage helped raise over $150,000 for the Casey Cares Foundation.
    Edgestock’s headliner, Kashmir, a Led Zeppelin tribute band from Wayne, N.J., takes the stage at dusk.
    Assuming the roles of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Boham, Kashmir’s Jean Violet, Andy Urban, Cary Keyz and Paul Cooper, respectively, seek “authenticity” in both performance and sound, according to the band’s website.
    A highlight of past concerts has been Andy Urban as Page performing the bow solo in the bluesy “Theremin.”
    Well-known on the East Coast, the band has played for audiences as large as 30,000.
    Admission to Edgestock is $10 for adults to children age 6. Children age 5 and under get in for free. Advance tickets are available at Full House Saloon, 2311 Sparrows Point Road. Tickets at the gate are available from 12:30 to 9 p.m. on the day of the event. 
    All proceeds from ticket, food and beverage sales at Edgestock Music Festival will benefit the ESP field fund, which is used for the maintenance of existing athletic fields and the development of new ones.
    “There’s not enough field space for the kids,” Darr said. “The [Edge-stock]festival’s all for the kids. That’s why we do it.”