Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson
The fifth annual Saratoga Blues Celebration featured two nights of the blues by many members of the Saratoga Acoustic Blues Society, who, apparently, also like to get a bit louder and electric as well.
Not really even an official event as part of the Hats Off! Music Festival in the streets south along Broadway, this blues party took place amid the stacks of rugs in Stockade Imports.
Gail Sparlin, one of many performers who returned from last year’s fest, sang her original tune “Deeper Shade Of Blue” and Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.” Tim Wechgelaer & Larry Clyman were joined by Nancy Walker for “Walking By Myself.” Ray Guiguere played Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stagolee Blues” and Blind Blake’s 1932 song “Chump Man’s Blues.”
Joan Crane used to play the blues in this area, and she returned to play in this festival with a lively finger-picking style on guitar for another Blind Blake song, “Police Dog Blues” from 1929. One of the highlights of the day was her version of “The Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song,” on which everyone sang along.