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Cecil Whig - - JUMPSTART -

“Dean Sapp & Har­fordd Ex­press.”

CW: Can you talk about your roots in blue­grass mu­sic?

DS: My un­cles on my mother’s side of the fam­ily — her broth­ers were pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians. They played for peo­ple like Bill Mon­roe, and dif­fer­ent ones over the years. My one un­cle that’s now de­ceased, Sonny Miller, played for Del McCoury of The Del McCoury Band, when they were Del McCoury and the Dixie Part­ners, if I re­call. Years ago. That’s just what we do. That’s what the fam­ily does. We play mu­sic.

CW: And would you say that blue­grass is your pri­mary in­flu­ence?

DS: Oh yes, ab­so­lutely. Blue­grass mu­sic and moun­tain style mu­sic.

CW: How did this gig with Gra­cie’s come about?

DS: They con­tacted me, Dean Sapp picks his banjo on stage at the Elk­ton li­brary in 2013.

and we came to an agree­ment about how we would do the show. It’s been in the works for about a year, ‘ til we got this fi­nal­ized and I felt com­fort­able do­ing the show there. It’s the type of at­mos­phere I’m look­ing for. It’s no al­co­hol, no smok­ing, a good, clean, fam­ily at­mos­phere. Back

when I did my shows at the Knights of Colum­bus Hall, that’s what I in­sisted upon: no al­co­hol, no smok­ing. If you come to my show, you bet­ter be in an or­derly fash­ion. A place where a man can feel good bring­ing his wife and kids to and not worry about some drunk or a fight break­ing

out or some­thing like that.

CW: This isn’t ex­actly the usual stance for a mu­si­cian. Why do you feel so strongly about it?

DS: Be­cause I’m a Chris­tian. When I was com­ing up in the mu­sic busi­ness, you had to take what you could get. Some­times it was a club or a bar, and I’ve seen the drunks, and I’ve seen the fights, and I al­ways said that if I put on my own shows there’d be none of that.

CW: So then you don’t drink at all? DS: Oh, ab­so­lutely not. CW: Any new projects you’re work­ing on with the band?

DS: We have a new CD project that we’re work­ing on. We’re six songs into it. We’ve had some sick­ness in the band, so we kind of laid that on the back burner, be­cause we want a good prod­uct when it’s out, some­thing we can be proud of.

In­stead of hav­ing to ex­plain why it doesn’t sound right. [laughs] Luck­ily, ev­ery­body’s in pretty good shape for Satur­day night.

At this point, Sapp brought up how for 20 years he played monthly shows at the now­torn down Knights of Colum­bus Hall along Route 40 in Elk­ton. Wawa built a gas sta­tion and con­ve­nience store on top of it this year. He men­tioned an ed­i­to­rial he wrote about how the build­ing was like an old friend to him.

DS: An old, dingy build­ing like that is perfect for blue­grass mu­sic. [laughs]

CW: Is this the first time you’re play­ing live since then?

DS: Well, we have a tour bus, be­cause we travel all over the coun­try. But for lo­cal events, this is the first one back since the clos­ing of the Knights of Colum­bus Hall. I’m go­ing to bring blue­grass back to Elk­ton.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

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