"It's just ten minutes from my home, and I get to see a lot of my old schoolmates," he said.
Strawbridge also added that he thinks the live music at the Farm Fair "is taking a better direction than in years past."
"They're using local talent now, which gives kids a good place to get rid of their inhibitions and meet with other kids from the local scene," he explained. "They can listen to each other and, you know, it encourages healthy competition."
Strawbridge then drove away in his golf cart to the Main Pavilion, to begin preparations for the preliminary round of the Farm Fair Talent Show, which is being held for the first time this year.
As One 3 Six continued to set up and check their equipment, a riot of sounds spun around the stage.
From the left, came the chatter of folks chatting underneath white tents with representatives from groups such as theU.S. Armyand Christian Farmers' Outreach; from the right came the chatter of folks placing orders with the numerous vendors selling funnel cake, snowballs, and other traditional fair fare. The drone of a tractor waiting to cross the road provided the cacophony with bass, while the omnipresent sound of foot traffic tied it all together.
All these sounds were drowned at when One 3 Six finished warming up and launched into their first song, a cover of "I Ran So Far Away" by English New Wave group, A Flock of Seagulls.
The band consists of: Ryan Deptal on guitar and lead vocals, Alex Vikestad on bass and backing vocals, Miles Combs on piano and Adam Beakley on drums. The band takes their name from the highway which Deptal, Vikestad and Combs grew up along in Street, Route 136.
Deptal, Vikestad and Combs are now all rising sophomores at Harford Community College. Deptal is studying to be a music major and intends to continue his study of voice and guitar at Towson University following his graduation from HCC. Vikestad is also pursing a musical career in the field of sound engineering, while Combs is studying computer science. The newest member of the group, Adam Beakley, is entering his senior year at Fallston High School.
Melissa Deptal, Ryan's mother, is also something of an honorary member of the band.
"I sit in on every one of their practices," she said. "They practice in our garage during the summer, and the basement in the winter. I let them know if something sounds off or what's working and what's not. I'm encouraging Ryan all the way. You know, people are getting degrees in business and finance these days and still not getting jobs. I don't want Ryan to become an accountant and always regret not pursuing music. Everyone should have a shot at pursuing their passion."
As One 3 Six played, a small crowd gathered on the bleachers with more people choosing to listen from underneath the shade of a large tree about 200 feet away from the stage.
As 136 played Green Day's "Holiday," audience members enthusiastically joined in shouting the "Heys" and "Amens." In a nod to location, Deptal changed the lyrics to reference Harford County instead of California; Deptal also tastefully mumbled over a line containing potentially offensive vocabulary.
One 3 Six continued to fill their hour-long set with covers of hits from classic and contemporary rock, including "Rock You Like a Hurricane," by Scorpions, and "Come Together," by The Beatles. The sound of familiar and favorite songs continued to draw the attention of fairgoers; one toddler wearing a John Deere hat bounced happily in his stroller to the beat of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid".
The band also played the first original song they had written, entitled "Vast Majority." The song began with a flourish of guitar riffs. Then, Adam set up a steady 4-4 rhythm on the drums, and rest of the band joined him with heavy chords. The lyrics, sung by Deptal with harmony from Vikestad, decried the hypocrisy of people in power and proclaimed that it was "Time to make a stand - we represent the vast majority!"
The dramatic lyrics were reminiscent of statements from the protest group Occupy Wall Street as well as English rock band Muse's recent album, "The Resistance." Deptal acknowledged that Muse is among the band's influences, which also include the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Avenged Sevenfold and Van Halen.
One 3 Six concluded their set with two songs by Van Halen. Although the musicians were soaked with sweat by the time they finished playing, they played every song with high energy and said they were looking forward to playing again on Saturday afternoon.
For more local music, visit CODA Records on South Main Street in Bel Air or the upcoming Havre de Grace Seafood Festival Aug. 10-12.