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Blues rock Patterson Park Jewel of South Baltimore plays host to an R&B; tour, and 2,500 people turn out

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Think Patterson Park and you think baseball, the boat lake and the pagoda.

And concerts.

No? Well, think again.

Baltimoreans say the jewel of Southeast Baltimore is the perfect place to rock 'n' roll, as evidenced by the daylong rhythm and blues concert there Saturday.

About 2,500 people gathered on the park's west side, in the shadow of the pagoda, to take in the music.

"It was a great concert -- great music, great food," said Joe Strobel, an electrician who drove from Olney to see blues guitarist Buddy Guy perform.

"It's the perfect outdoor venue. The view is spectacular."

Guy, a Grammy award winner, was the headliner at the Baltimore -- and Patterson Park -- stop on the "Southern Comfort Rocks the Blues '97 Tour" of 12 cities.

He and Cracker, the Radiators and Gingham Shumuz entertained the crowd for about eight hours.

"Events like this show people that you don't have to go to Fells Point or other tourist areas like the Inner Harbor to hang out in Baltimore and have a great time," said Tracy Gosson, a Butchers Hill resident who helped concert promoter David Geller organize the event.

The mostly-30s crowd danced and sang under trees and on blankets to Guy's smoking version of "Mustang Sally" and the Radiators' "Everybody Say Yeah."

Will Backstrom, 31, of Irvington said he hopes the success of the blues concert will encourage other artists to come to Patterson Park.

"I didn't have to drive far, and I didn't have to pay for parking," said Backstrom, who usually heads to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia or Nissan Pavilion in Virginia to see his favorite musicians.

"And it was great seeing an older guy rock out."

The Bicentennial Commission received $10,000 of the proceeds from the concert, whose tickets were $15 in advance and $20 at the gate.

The Butchers Hill Community Association received $750.

Pub Date: 7/14/97

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