Seed Saving And Unspoken Poetry At Library


On First Friday, September 5, Kent County Public Library will hold two events at the Chestertown Branch. Both are free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.

Seed Saving & Other Ideas for Growing Things


Sabine Harvey, Horticulture Program Assistant with the University of Maryland Extension, will be on hand to share her knowledge and answer questions about seed saving and other ideas for growing things.  Stop by and gather some knowledge as part of your First Friday experience.  While you’re here, make some DIY seed packets to help you start preparing for next year’s garden.

Unspoken Poetry: Reception for Sherrie von Sternberg 


Meet artist Sherrie von Sternberg, enjoy refreshments, and be among the first to view the exhibit, Unspoken Poetry.  Raised on a farm in Western Pennsylvania, surrounded by the wide open countryside, Sherrie discovered the four seasons under the watchful eye of an author and poet. It was no surprise that the love of expression gave forth to the visual creativity that is the art of Sherrie von Sternberg. As a preservationist and humanist, Sherrie believes that we impact each other and our world with everything that we do. Her exhibit, Unspoken Poetry, will remain on display during the month of September.

For more information about these programs or to learn about becoming a featured artist at KCPL, please call 410-778-3636.


Hugh & Zane Campbell at The Mainstay, Sept. 6


Hugh and Zane Campbell will show “New River: A family musical history,” a documentary film about their family and its music, sing some of their music and show some of their folk art furniture at the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday September 6. The film will be shown at 8 p.m. followed by music but come early to see and perhaps purchase some of the Campbell brothers folk-art furniture. Admission is $15.

Hugh and Zane Campbell - webInheritors of a rich family tradition of singing and songwriting, Hugh and Zane Campbell put on a lively, fascinating show. With their singing, playing, and storytelling in the colorful mountain tradition of their ancestors, they share their very personal and unique musical family history, a history that runs from the Scottish Highlands to the North Carolina mountains, to the rural southern enclave along the Eastern Maryland/Pennsylvania border; from a long ancestral line of hillbilly songwriters and recording artists to the music of Zane and Hugh Campbell.

They were born into music. Their great-uncle on their mother’s side, Guy Brooks, was the first member of the family to record. In 1928, he recorded for the historic Gennett label with his band, The Red Fox Chasers. He is credited with having written, in 1929, the first trucker song, “Wreck on the Mountain Road,” which is also considered country music’s first car-wreck song.

On their father’s side is their aunt Ola Belle Reed, their father’s sister, a trailblazing songwriter and folk singer renowned in country, folk and bluegrass circles. She was an NEA Heritage Fellow and recorded for the Smithsonian. Two of her songs “I’ve Endured” and “High On a Mountain” are bluegrass classics and “High on a Mountain,” was a country hit single for Marty Stuart in 1992.

Ola Belle was an early pioneer as a woman in the man’s world of country music, writing her own songs and performing them with her own band, flanked by her brother Alex Campbell and the New River Boys. On their first album for the famous Starday label, she wrote half of the songs, making her one of the first female singer-songwriters long before the term even existed.
She was also a civil-rights activist, who ran her own makeshift halfway house out of her home for years, with no government assistance. Always her own woman, she once turned down Roy Acuff at the height of his career, when he asked her to join his band.

Hugh and Zane have been collaborating since they were small, when they arranged their plastic army men into complicated battle scenes on the living room floor and devised games such as Dead Man, where they stood tall on the sofa arms and fell stiff as boards onto the cushions. They still collaborate today but in different media. They create music and perform together; they design and build folk-art furniture; and they worked with Tom Sims on his New River movie. In all of these ventures, they share their talents and their family stories.

The film, “New River: A Family Musical History Tour” is a musical documentary, directed by Tom Sims, about the Campbell and Brooks families, both of whom have roots in the rich musical culture of the North Carolina mountains. Hugh and Zane Campbell, with fellow musician Gary Irving, narrate and play some of their own and their family’s songs. “New River” was an official entry in the 2007 Festival de Cannes Short Film Program. It has been screened at festivals across the county and at International Bluegrass Music Association’s Annual Meeting. It was called “must viewing” in a review in Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.

In addition to showing the film, Zane and Hugh will perform the songs of their ancestors, tell the stories behind the songs, and share old photographs, records, and other memorabilia pertaining to their relatives’ music. They also sing their own songs, some of which are about their relatives, all in a loose, country-music-style.

Both Zane and Hugh have had some success of their own in the world of songwriting. Hugh’s song, “Shape of a Tear,” was recorded by The Lynn Morris Band and nominated for Song of the Year by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) in 2003. Ironically, his aunt Ola Belle was one of the nominees in 2004 for her song “I’ve Endured,” which was recorded by Tim O’Brien. Zane is best known for having written “Post-Mortem Bar,” which in 1990 appeared in the motion picture “Longtime Companion,” the first American movie dealing with AIDS.

The Campbells will also have on display and for sale some of their amazing folk art furniture and decorative objects. Hugh builds the furniture from reclaimed wood, and Zane paints designs and scenes with great flair and an eye for detail. Together they have created everything from blanket chests with painted quilts on the front to personalized toy boxes, every side painted to represent some aspect of a child’s life.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), non profit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas and snacks are available at the bar.

The Mainstay is supported by ticket sales, fundraising including donations from friends and audience members and an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website

Pic of the Day: Point of Reference Disorder


Ed. Note: I stopped by the Centreville McDonald’s late Sunday night for coffee. Things were strange.



Music at My Mother’s Funeral by Faith Shearin


During the weeks when we all believed my mother
was likely to die she began to plan
her funeral and she wanted us, her children,
to consider the music we would play there. We remembered
the soundtrack of my mother’s life: the years when she swept
the floors to the tunes of an eight track cassette called Feelings,
the Christmas when she bought a Bing Crosby album
about a Bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. She got Stravinsky’s
Rite of Spring stuck in the tape deck of her car and for months
each errand was accompanied by some kind
of dramatic movement. After my brother was born,
there was a period during which she wore a muumuu
and devoted herself to King Sunny Ade and his
African beats. She ironed and wept to Evita, painted
to Italian opera. Then, older and heavier, she refused
to fasten her seatbelt and there was the music
of an automated bell going off every few minutes,
which annoyed the rest of us but did not seem to matter
to my mother who ignored its relentless disapproval,
its insistence that someone was unsafe.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetrymagazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by the Alaska Quarterly Review. Faith Shearin’s most recent book of poems is Moving the Piano, Stephen F. Austin Univ. Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from the Alaska Quarterly Review, Vol. 30, No. 3 & 4, by permission of Faith Shearin and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Exhibition “Exploring the Process” to Feature Chestertown Artist Mary Pritchard


Beginning with an opening reception Saturday, September 6th, 5:30-7:30PM, the September exhibition at Peninsula Gallery, Lewes DE, brings together the work of two well-known landscape painters, Steve Rogers of Lewes DE and Mary Pritchard of Chestertown MD.

The title “Exploring the Process” was chosen by the artists with a specific intent. In the process of presenting finished work each artist intends to share insights on the approach taken in capturing a landscape by presenting smaller images and pre sketches of the finished work.

Well known for his iconic maritime images of working boats, Rogers works primarily in the studio starting with a photograph many of which he takes himself as he travels. He then alters the photograph adding or subtracting elements to achieve the artistic image he wishes to present.

Light and shadow, Steve Rogers

Light and shadow, Steve Rogers

Writing of his methods Rogers notes that: “A photograph is a memory device and a starting point. The image must be rearranged, things need to be added and things need to be removed. Sometimes the weather or the time of day will change. A rough sketch of the composition or a small painting is the next step. This helps me visualize the finished piece. It is not unusual for further changes to occur when an idea translates from a small composition to a large one. And some ideas work better as a small painting … and some ideas need the size and scope of a large canvas to succeed.”

Thus despite the very realistic presentation of the final work, there is a strong element of artistic inventiveness and creativeness to the process that Rogers feels is a necessary part of creating a successful landscape.

Mary Pritchard received her B.A in studio art from Mount Holyoke College and has Master’s degrees in both art and journalism. An award-winning pastel artist, she is known for her landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as well as coastal Maine and rural Nova Scotia.

Working almost exclusively in pastel Pritchard says “Pastel is the most direct medium—fast, flexible and forgiving. In its simplest form nothing intervenes between the artist’s hand and the application of pigment to the surface. The sheer physicality of pastel and its endless technical potential inspires me in exploring themes and subject matter.”

Mary Pritchard, Swan Creek Tapestry

Mary Pritchard, Swan Creek Tapestry

Like Rogers, Pritchard has developed a series of steps to complete a work. “No matter the theme or subject matter, the painting process always begins with a value study. Using black and white pastels on gray paper, this is the most valuable technique I know for improving my painting success rate. Not only does it act as a rehearsal for the final pastel, allowing me to work fresher, faster, and more directly, it is an engine for idea generation as the value study captures the strongest and most immediate response to the subject. Reviewing a whole series of these quick studies allows me to connect that response with a more formal analysis, selecting those images to pursue, those to discard, and those to put aside.”

So like Rogers in Pritchard’s work there is a spontaneity of creation as the idea for a paintings moves through the initial sketching to final process.

Perhaps speaking for all artists Pritchard writes of her work, “My challenge as a landscape painter is to retain a ‘sense of place’ while creating a new reality that exists on the two-dimensional surface.”

These two artists invite us into that reality and in this exhibition, attempt to illuminate the path they have followed to achieve this end. The show extends through September 30th.

The Peninsula Gallery, located at 520 E Savannah Road, is currently in its 18th year and presents the work of more than 20 local, regional and international artists. Phone 302-645-0551.

RiverArts to Debut Two New Shows at Sept. First Friday

Little People's Market by Sally Clark

Little People’s Market by Sally Clark

Chestertown RiverArts is pleased to debut two novel shows on First Friday, September 5th, 5pm-8pm. In the Main Gallery, “The Literary Muse” will showcase artwork from all mediums that draws on literature for inspiration. The artists contributing may have been moved to express something about a favorite literary character, a specific scene or setting in a novel, a cherished book title, or a well-known author’s life. Artists have been encouraged to be either literal or abstract in their approach to their literary inspiration. Expect to see wonderful interpretations such as Marcy Dunn Ramesey’s watercolor, “Why the River” from the book The River is the Reason by @Meredith Davies Hadaway. Marcy often finds her inspiration from Meredith’s poetry. Also enjoy a mixed media piece, by Sally Clark which takes her back to a childhood book of poems and stories about fairies. The show is set to coincide with the 5th Annual Chestertown Book Festival which takes place September 19-21, 2014.

Opening the same evening in the Small Gallery will be an extension to the literary theme titled “Portraits – Conversing with the Sitter. ”Portrait painting is among the oldest of human arts and resonates with us in a very primitive way. A good portrait tells some of the sitter’s story and captures a moment of their lives. Artists of any medium have been invited to participate and will turn the Small Gallery into “Portrait Hall”. Popular portrait artist, Evie Baskin, will be showing “Visionary”, a pastel portrait of her son on his 30th birthday. He recently moved to New York City after three years in Silicon Valley as a software developer. In this painting he looks to the future with clear eyes, a strong mind and a good heart.

William R. Brockschmidt, Jr is curating both shows, which run September 5th to September 28t., Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm, First Friday from 11am-8pm,and Saturday 10am – 4pm…For more information call 410-778-6300 or go to

Free Outdoor Blues Concert with Johnny & Zep at the Mainstay


The MainstayBlues series concludes for this year with Delta blues magic from Johnny and Zep in a free outdoor concert on the back deck of the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday August 30 at 7:00 p.m. Bring a comfortable chair. The concert will move indoors to the Mainstay in case of rain or extreme heat.

Johnny and Zep - webThe Mainstay’s free outdoor summer concert series is sponsored by People’s Bank, The Rock Hall Business Association, The Kent County Arts Council and The Mainstay. This is also the final concert in the free outdoor series.

Johnny Never and Zep Harpo (AKA Seth Holzman) are a dynamic duo of the Delta Blues. Johnny’s exquisite finger style guitar work and passionate voice mesh perfectly with Seth’s deep range of harmonica styles and sounds in a mix of soft blues ballads, intense Delta slide moans and driving Little Walter and Muddy Waters riffs.

In 2011, Johnny, along with his band, was one of only three national acts selected by the Philadelphia Folk Song Society to perform in a concert honoring the 100th birthday of blues legend, Robert Johnson. Seth has performed with Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, John Mooney, Roomful of Blues, Dave “Honeyboy” Edwards, Magic Slim, Big Jack Johnson, Ronnie Earl, and other dignitaries of the blues.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a 501(c)(3), non profit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region. For information, call 410-639-9133. Information is also available at the Mainstay’s website

One Maryland One Book, at KCPL


Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 7.42.42 AMOne Maryland One Book is Maryland’s only statewide community reading project and is the signature program of the Maryland Center for the Book at the Maryland Humanities Council. Initiated in fall 2008, this year-long project culminates with two months of public programs, using literature to spur conversations in communities around the state. One Maryland One Book is designed to bring diverse groups of Marylanders together to share a common reading experience by discussing a work of literature and participating in related events. Kent County Public Library is pleased to be an official community partner in the 2014 One Maryland One Book program.

This year’s selected book is The Distance Between Us: A Memoir (2012) by Reyna Grande. Born in Mexico and raised by her grandparents after her parents left to find work in the U.S., Reyna entered the U.S. at age nine as an undocumented immigrant. Filled with hope, she quickly realized that life in America was different than she had imagined it would be. The Distance Between Us captures the confusion and contradictions of childhood, while reminding us that joys and sorrows experienced as children are imprinted on the heart forever and deeply linked to the places we first called home.

Thanks to the Maryland Humanities Council, free copies of The Distance Between Us: A Memoir are available at KCPL in both English and Spanish. Members of the community are encouraged to read the book, then join us this fall for book discussions and other programs related to the book’s main themes. A schedule of these events will be available by the end of August.

More information about One Maryland One Book can be found on the Maryland Humanities Council’s website, More information about upcoming One Maryland One Book programs can be found on Kent County Public Library’s website,, or by calling 410-778-3636.

Navy’s “Electric Brigade” to Perform at WC


Electirc Brigade 2Washington College kicks off its Premier Artist lineup, part of the larger Washington College Concert Series, on Thursday evening, September 4, with a free outdoor concert by the Electric Brigade, the U.S. Navy’s popular music ensemble.

The family-friendly concert will take place in Martha Washington Square, outside the Gibson Center for the Arts, at 6 p.m. The College will provide free lemonade, popcorn and Rita’s Ices.  There will be seating available, but guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets as well.

The Electric Brigade, the Navy’s premier popular music group, has been entertaining audiences around the world since 1979. Acting as the United States Naval Academy’s musical ambassadors to the nation, EB serves as a major public relations tool for the Navy, supporting Navy recruiting by acquainting young Americans with the Armed Forces. With its unique brand of high-energy performance, this elite group has set the standard in popular-music entertainment for United States Navy Bands all over the world.

The Washington College Concert Series continues the next day, Friday, Sept. 6, with the season’s first 12@Hotchkiss series offering a performance of jazz and Latin Jazz by the Marty Knepp Trio, with Clem Ehoff on piano, Jason Gano on bass, and Marty Knepp on drums. The free concert begins at noon in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, second floor of the Gibson Center for the Arts.

Later in the month, on September 28, at 3 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, pianists Grace Kim and Hanchien Lee present a light-hearted and whimsical all-French program, highlighted by Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals with poetic narration by Professor Emeritus of Drama Timothy Maloney. This family-friendly program will include works by Poulenc, Ravel, and Saint-Saëns, tickets $20 (adults) and $15 (seniors 65 and over, and WC faculty/staff). Children 18 and under and Washington College students are free with valid ID.

Many other events are scheduled for the fall semester. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the website ( or call 410-778-7839.

cElectric Brigade 1-1