The return of Troopathon

troopathon2014_banner_160x240 As I have done for the last several years, I’m supporting Troopathon 7, which is a continuing effort by the group Move America Forward to send care packages to our troops on the front lines in the Long War. Even if you don’t necessarily support the mission and would prefer the troops come home, while they are still there we should do what we can to make their lives a little more comfortable.

The format is the same as previous events – on June 25 there will be an 8-hour internet telecast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library featuring longtime hostess Melanie Morgan and many other conservative heavyweights in the media world. Generally they update their site regularly on the status of special guests.

You may recall that in past years I have been a member of a team of bloggers called the Hot Air Steamers – it was a solid lineup which garnered the second-highest amount of contributions in 2012. The folks at MAF have decided to retire that competition, though, and now every blogger works on his or her own to qualify for prizes in specific tiers, with the overall leader receiving an AR-15. Now you all could surprise me, but I’m not going to hold my breath that I can get to that level – just making it to the first tier would be a nice achievement. (It would take about 20 or 21 donors from this site to do so.)

So on the right-hand sidebar, just down from the political ads, you will see a icon similar to the one on the upper left of this post. If you click it you’ll go to a page where you can fill out an order form and anything purchased there is credited to my account. Once I verify all is in order (they’re West Coast-based so I’ll find out this afternoon) I’ll start the ball rolling myself, although if you want to go first by all means do so. It matters less that it accrues to me than it does assisting them.

It’s a cause I believe in and every little bit helps. And don’t forget you can watch the Troopathon online June 25 – as I recall it runs from 4 p.m. to midnight EDT. Their goal is a modest $300,000 this year so let’s see if we can help them get there.

Pig and a Jig 2014 in pictures and text

Okay, let’s face it. I like ribs, and when they come with live music so much the better. So just a few weeks after Pork in the Park blew out of town we went on Saturday to its Snow Hill-based little sibling called Pig and a Jig, This year’s event was the second annual, and a change in the calendar date from one end of May to the other provided for simply awesome weather.

One of the big differences between the inaugural event last year and this year’s rendition was KCBS certification, so there were over 30 teams vying for the prize money and hardware.

They were set up where we parked last year, with parking now across the road and a shuttle service provided. Unfortunately, the access over there wasn’t as easy and the competition was just wrapping up anyway so I didn’t wander over there to scope things out. While it was nice to have a shuttle bus, I would suggest securing the same trailers they use for the county fair and several tractors – it would make for less waiting.

The other addition was rides for the kids.

Between that and the space for cornhole, it left a modest midway section.

There were still a small number of food vendors, with a couple traveling some distance to be here.

This was at one stand called Kloby’s. Not sure what it would taste like, but it looked interesting.

I suppose, though, it had most of what I ended up having within the Mason jar.

Aside from the beans, which I found a touch too spicy – Kim liked them, though – the meal was pretty good, although I think I would have liked the other half of the rack better. The North Carolina-style sauce was tasty, though.

Meanwhile, we were listening to our friends from Something Grey.

Since I only saw the one band, I won’t do a Weekend of Local Rock feature. But they had a number of bands come back from last year, so they must be treating them right.

I’m not sure just how much property Preston owns, but they probably need more space to make this event bigger and better in 2015. Certainly the local Snow Hill schools would like it to be an ongoing success, and if they can keep KCBS certification they may end up with a big hit on their hands.

And by the way, the reason the photos turned out the way they did was that there was something on my lens. I have no idea how it happened, but it messed up several of these photos and may have scratched the camera lens. For that I’m an unhappy camper, although the camera is an old model which has basically been supplanted by my cell phone. I just like it because it fits easily in my pocket.

Weekend of local rock volume 60

In lieu of a review this week, my WLR feature is hitting the big six-oh with some scenes from last weekend’s Concert for a Random Soldier, which occurred at American Legion Post 28 in Oak Orchard, Delaware (close by Long Neck.) This is one of a handful of local fundraising concerts that have become a tradition, with another I generally frequent being (Save the) Breastfest in September during Bike Week.

There were actually eight bands and four acoustic acts on the CFARS bill, with the latter reserved for set changes. We arrived later than planned, so we missed exactly half – these were mainly the oldies acts (Oh Boy, 33 1/3, The Runner-Ups, and The Funsters) and two acoustic ones (The Volcanoes and Bryan Scar.) In fact, we arrived just as the Mari Hill Band was closing up shop.

Since there was no acoustic act slotted after Mari Hill, I wandered around a bit. Earlier in the day there was a car show, but by the time I got photos this old guy was pretty much all that was left.

As a little bit of history, the CFARS was set up in memory of Chad Clifton, a Delaware native who was killed in Iraq in 2005. A foundation was set up in his name, with this particular event benefiting an organization called Guitars for Vets.

In keeping with the veteran theme, the Veterans United Outreach of Delaware had a trailer full of information as needed.

After all that, the hard rock of Factor was ready to hit the stage. They definitely appealed more to the Iraq and Afghanistan set than the Vietnam-era veterans.

Unlike the other groups, they slammed out a diet of originals with the exception of a song Chad often requested from them, “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones. Their version was a little more amped-up, though.

So it seemed a little jarring to hear the acoustic duo called Dog and Butterfly, playing a variety of lighter classics. Jim and Michele Hogsett have honed this act for several years as a side project to the former Semiblind.

They played while Judy Sings The Blues set up. And Judy was exactly as advertised.

If you don’t believe me, here’s their set list.

The day’s final acoustic act was Captain Mike and Joe Garvilla, who had fun with some easily-adapted songs like “Jack and Diane.”

I noted earlier that Jim and Michele Hogsett were in “the former Semiblind.” Over the winter they decided to change the name to Something Grey.

It was many of the same staples that Semiblind did so well, except for some issues which affected their sound – the bass kept cutting out. I happened to see their set list afterward as well – the stage area was littered with them.

I was pleased to hear them bring back “Sweet Emotion,” which was one they had on the shelf for awhile. On the other hand, I don’t think I’d heard “Her Strut,” which shows how they massage their songlist as time goes on.

So as the sun set on a beautiful night and the crowd went home, we looked back on a gorgeous day.

Next year (May 24, 2015) will be the 10th annual event, and it seems like they’ve found a good formula for success – good enough that they ran out of chicken to grill because so many came. If I can make it, I’ll be there and so should you.

Weekend of local rock volume 49

This comes to you from the friendly confines of Ocean City, Maryland. If you couldn’t guess, it was OC Bike Week at Pickles Pub.

But I wasn’t there to celebrate the biker culture; instead I came out to one of my favorite charity events.

Yes, I am a tata lover. I admit it. But it was for a good cause, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. Several people gave their time and effort to make this possible, including those who manned (womanned?) this table.

(See the front bag on the left side? I dropped most of my arm’s length of raffle tickets into the bag and won that prize. Third year in a row I’ve won something.)

Lovely Melissa was selling the 50/50 tickets.

I didn’t get a picture of Iris, who was manning her own camera for the best tattoo contest, but I did get a good picture of the ringleader of the event – who happens to be a fine singer and breast cancer survivor to boot. Michele Hogsett is the singer from Semiblind and also is a DJ who goes by the nom de plume DJ Siren, for obvious reasons.

She started the Save the Breast Fest three years ago and has gone through many trials and tribulations to make the event as successful as it is.

A lot of people were having a good time throughout the evening.

I do have one complaint of sorts, though. Jesse James Dupree, the lead singer of Jackyl, is now a whiskey maker. He had a promotional appearance next door at 8th Street Liquors (Pickles Pub and 8th Street Liquors are actually attached.)

It would have been nice if he’d popped over to say hello or at least donated a couple bottles of his product to the cause as a late raffle item. By several accounts he was quite interested in autographing the tatas. (Even if I had taken pictures, this is a family-friendly website.)

All right, that’s enough preliminaries. You can follow along with this handy band lineup.

As one may expect from this type of event, it was loaded with female-fronted bands. Lauren Glick and the Moodswingers batted leadoff.

I missed their first couple songs, but I did find out Lauren’s a great singer who can handle a little country or classic rock.

They yielded the stage to an up-and-coming band from Delaware called Elwood.

One of the younger groups playing the event, they mixed a couple bluesy originals in with their cover tunes. I thought they were the best band in the show.

Returning to the female-fronted pattern, Lipstick Molly came next.

The quintet played mostly rockers, but tossed in a little gunpowder and lead to liven things up for the modern country crowd.

The host band came next.

While Michele and Jim Hogsett have kept the band together for over six years, it seems like they have a different drummer and bassist every time I see them now. I was interested to hear they’ve gone back to their more “traditional” playlist, such as backing up Black Magic Woman with Magic Man.

The second picture of Semiblind was taken during Jim’s solo on Seven Nation Army, one which was so blisteringly hot you could fry eggs with it.

The composition and framing on this photo qualifies as my dumb luck shot of the night, and perhaps year.

Along with Semiblind, the only other band to play all four Save the Breast Fest events is Witches Brew.

I have to say that Susan Witchey (yes, that’s her name) personifies the biker chick, which makes her a natural for this show.

They also took care of the night’s first, long-neglected ‘social!’

Raise those glasses, ladies and gentlemen! And take some beads while you’re there – Susan really enjoyed passing them out between songs. I kind of wish they’d gotten to the last song in their written set, though – haven’t heard much Quiet Riot in awhile.

The final act eschewed cover songs, though. I liked that.

But I have a little trouble classifying Perception. Their artistic flair suggests their music would have a psychedelic strain, as you can see by the pictures of the guitar case and amplifier.

But when you actually hear them play, the very spare arrangements have more of a garage band feel. With these guys you can tell it’s three musicians as opposed to a band like Rush or even ZZ Top, where three musicians sound like four or five. They’re not heavy like Motorhead, either – these guys come with much more of an alternative sound and a “screw everything” attitude.

I have to wonder, though – I’m not a musician so I won’t hold myself out as an expert. But it seemed like on some of the middle songs they were either in a minor chord I don’t hear often or the guitar was a little out of tune. It was sort of strangely unpleasant.

Still, they put together some good songs which have gotten play on ‘Local Produce’ which was why I battled exhaustion from a long workday to stay around until 1 a.m. to hear them.

And the real good news is that the event raised almost $1,000 for the DBCC, which will go to help area women (and a few men) who are afflicted with breast cancer. All six bands should be commended, along with the local businesses which have supported this cause.

Troopathon blog results are in – sort of

Just over two weeks ago I helped promote the 5th annual Troopathon, which eventually exceeded its $250,000 support goal and languishes barely short of a revised $400,000 milepost with just over $390,000 collected so far.

But there was also a blogger’s contest held as part of that event, and I wondered how my team, the Hot Air Steamers, did. As you can see by the medal now prominent in my sidebar we finished in second place to the Connecticut-based Greyhawks team, which have now won the competition three years in a row. (No shame in that.) I believe the missing link to our five-person team may have been the former site No More Sheeples, which seems to have gone inactive – others among us were Hot Air (of course), Maggie’s Notebook, and The Lonely Conservative.

In third place came a team called the Anti-Jihadists, which boasts sites like Creeping Sharia (which I linked to), Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, and several others.

One piece of information I have asked for but haven’t received are the totals from each team, although through a little digging I found out Rush Limbaugh chipped in $150,000 by himself. (Put the guy on our team next time!)

Also from what I’ve been able to figure out, this year’s contest was a little shorter than last year’s so blog totals may have been less than impressive – for example, the Greyhawks raised $19,000 last year (out of about $30,000 total) as the winners but the contest went for over a month before the actual event. This year’s rendition didn’t begin until around the end of June, so we had two weeks to collect. Whatever the totals, though, every little bit helped.

And I’m still pleased to add this medal to my site as a year-round reminder that Troopathon will be there to support our soldiers for as long as they stay in harm’s way.

Weekend of local rock volume 41

At one time this was supposed to be two posts, but as it turned out – thanks to my faulty memory and other things which happened (or didn’t happen) over Delmarva Bike Week – this can fit comfortably into one post.

However, my camera misfortune actually opened the door for me to introduce you to a kind friend of mine who deserves a lot of credit. I’ll share that with you in a bit, but first I’d like to mention that this WLR post came from the recent (Save the) BreastFest that occurred a couple Thursdays back out at the Oasis Bar and Grill.

I was expecting an inside event, but instead the BreastFest was set up outside, amid some other Delmarva Bike Week vendors like these:

But you can tell which one was the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition tent – it was pretty in pink.

By the way, the woman seated on the hay bale with the gray shirt next to the crutches – this event is her baby. Michele Hogsett gets a lot of help but has organized this event over the last three years.

She lined up quite a few interesting items for the raffle. Believe it or not, I’ve won something two years in a row – seems like this is the only place Lady Luck smiles on me.

It’s a shame the weather wasn’t better and warmer; still I believe there were quite a few of these consumed.

This shot? Well, I added it to show that some guys have WAY too much time on their hands.

Okay, okay, now for the bands. As I said, I had camera issues and shortly after I took that last shot of the short bus, well, my batteries died and I didn’t have a spare set on me. I also had the occurrence of a longer-than-normal day of work, which meant I couldn’t get to the show until just before the third band took the stage. (My haste was probably why I forgot the batteries!)

Fortunately, there was an award-winning photographer there who I’ve come to know over the last few months through her work. She was there for the whole event and got some great band shots, so the photography credits henceforth go to Francie Davis/3roses photography.

The first band up was Fast Nixon.

By the accounts I heard these guys had a very tight sound. I had hoped to catch them live since they’re frequently played on the ‘Local Produce’ radio show but it was not to be.

Dust ‘n Bones took the stage next and I assume, based on my previous encounters with them, rocked the place with some strong cover tunes. They led into the point where I arrived, just in time for The Electric Co.

They took a folk-rock turn in their set, mixing in a few originals and showing their wide influence base of rock, folk, and even bluegrass. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but those who stuck around definitely enjoyed the show. Nate Clendenen of TEC was a second-time participant in the event, leading off last year with a solo gig.

The growing chill in the air reminded me of the upcoming Halloween season, and told me it was time for a dose of Witches Brew. (Clever segue, huh?)

The way Witches Brew rocked the stage, I’m sure they were quite toasty by the end. As usual, they pummeled out some hard rock covers from the catalog of groups like Judas Priest and Nirvana. They’re one of two bands which has played all three of these events, the other being the host group Semiblind.

Another band I’d looked forward to seeing was Deep Sea Research, which played next.

They may have been one of the most unique cover bands I’ve ever encountered (although they played one original tune too.) In a 45-minute set, they played only 3 or 4 full songs – the first 25 or 30 minutes was one continuous jam of various song snippets from the classic rock era. Just when you thought they may settle into a groove, they up and changed the thing around – I frankly enjoyed it.

Their last song was a Pink Floyd cover with a special guest.

Since Semiblind was next on the bill anyway, they asked guitarist Jim Hogsett to jam with them on their last song. And it made the transition between bands easier, too.

Even though Michele Hogsett was hobbling around on crutches helping to direct the BreastFest proceedings, Semiblind did their set with her gamely standing throughout. You can get a little more of the backstory behind the (Save the) Breastfest here and here. It’s definitely been a star-crossed event, having survived three venue changes including a last-minute cancellation.

With two new players on stage, they stuck to their bread-and-butter of classic rock covers – but Jim promised that exciting stuff is in the works with the new members. Stay tuned.

A band with a definite affinity for Van Halen is Fuzzbox Piranha. The music of those classic rockers was a staple of FP’s set, with a definite lean toward the days of David Lee Roth. But anyone who starts ‘Panama’ with the opening riff to ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ will get your attention.

Last but not least was Vivid Season.

A lot of what they played was those songs you’d find on a modern rock radio station, but they took a country detour for a couple tunes just for fun. Heck, those still out there were freezing by then so whatever worked to get up and dance, right? Some of the ladies were getting into it, that’s for sure.

I’m not sure just how much the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition raised from the event, although it figures that the first fall-like day with threatening weather happened to occur for this event. Sunny and 80 degrees would have likely doubled or tripled the turnout. But I’m sure Michele is undaunted and probably working out ways to make edition number four next year bigger and better.

I also want to point out that Francie Davis was most helpful and thank her for permission to use her work. She has a full album of the event, which includes many more band shots that I didn’t include here. Francie is probably best known, though, for her award-winning nature photos, with prints available for sale. Check her site out!

Time for a fashion bash

It seems to me that my readership skews a bit toward the male side of the spectrum based on comments I get. But I know there are a lot of ladies out there who would be interested in hearing about this upcoming event because it’s for a good cause. And I wanted to bring you the news because I support good causes and, perhaps just as importantly, I support my advertisers and one of them is quite involved with this event.

On Wednesday, September 7th at noon, Brew River (502 West Main Street in Salisbury) is hosting a Fashion Show Fundraiser for HALO – Hope And Life Outreach. The cost is $25 and includes a choice of lunch as well as a fashion show presented by The Perfect Dress. (That’s my sponsor tie-in.) Celeste Savage of HALO will also be making remarks at the show, which includes a silent auction as well.

According to the sponsor, seats are limited so the best way to get one would be to contact Ellen at (410) 251-1581.

While I noticed their main website is a bit chaotic, I found the purpose of HALO is “to address the short term needs of individuals and families by providing food, clothing, shelter, and other emergency resources while developing long-term strategies toward permanent change.” Since they eschew federal and state government funding, a primary source of their income is provided through fundraisers like these. It’s the sort of program which deserves support because they’re independent of our tax dollars.

I cheerfully admit I don’t have a lick of fashion sense and unfortunately my work schedule for Wednesday is pretty full. But this is an event worth attending if you have the time to do so and the resources to make a generous donation to the cause.

And while I don’t necessarily want this website to be the clearinghouse for local charitable events – seemingly that’s territory suited for other local websites – in seeing Mark McIver at the WCRC Crab Feast yesterday it reminded me that he plays host to a charity event for Habitat for Humanity this coming Sunday, September 11. More details can be found on the Habitat site here.

Now that summer is over and we begin to edge toward the holiday season, the needs will become greater. Let’s see how many of us can dig into our pockets and help out our fellow man, without the government telling us how to spend it.

Going bald for the cure

Updates 3-9-11: Joel Dixon didn’t win, so he won’t miss a campaign day. He informed me the event has been pushed back to a 6 p.m. start time. 

I know Joel Dixon is on the bubble for a City Council seat and would have to work hard to jump three spots even if he does pick up the 2 votes among the last absentees to be counted to pass Bruce Ford.

But sometimes there is a cause greater than politics, and a few days back he asked me to pass this on – I figured I’d do so about two weeks prior to the event. Looks like he’ll miss a day of campaigning if he indeed moves up to sixth place.

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Note the event begins at 4 p.m. so it’s more of a late afternoon start, although presumably it will last well into that Friday night. So join Joel and others in this effort!

(On a blogging note – the WordPress plugin is called Google Doc Embedder. Made my life a little easier!)

Friday night videos episode 24

After a week off to recharge the batteries, FNV is back with a good mix of politics and music once again.

Health care continues to be a sore subject in Congress. But while Democrats used the sob story to make their point yesterday, our side adds some facts to the emotion. This comes from the fine folks of Americans for Prosperity:

As I often ask, which Americans are against prosperity?

The health-care summit yesterday was a dud; then again that was the expectation from Republicans like Rep. Michele Bachmann. From the Washington News-Observer:

And the National Republican Congressional Committee added a dash of humor to the “Blair House Project”:

Yet there is other news on the conservative front as well. Last week over 70 conservative leaders got together to sign the Mount Vernon Statement. Here’s what I thought of it
but the players had their say as well. Again from WNO:

Nor have they forgotten foreign policy. Our best UN Ambassador in recent times spoke to WNO about his thoughts on the Obama relationship with the world.

If you follow me on Facebook you know what I’m usually doing Sunday nights at 9:00 – listening to Local Produce on the radio. This remake of “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” (originally done by the Charlie Daniels Band) is done by one of the co-hosts, Bob Daigle, and a couple of his friends. He definitely has an interesting YouTube channel!

The second of two music videos tonight is fresh stuff I recorded last Saturday at the Brumbley Haiti benefit. The sound quality is markedly better, and not just because Not My Own played well. Maybe I’m finally getting this video recording stuff!

That’s a wrap for another version of Friday night videos – hope you enjoyed it!

Weekend of local rock volume 29

Normally I put these posts up on the weekend and save the weekdays for more serious political items, but since there was a charitable element to most of this post I decided to push the date ahead a few days.

I saw 13 acts in a span of about 48 hours, and all but one was doing their thing for a cause. My friends from Semiblind aren’t strangers to doing charity shows either, but in this case they were out to entertain the patrons at the Oasis Bar and Grill last Friday night and maybe make a few bucks for themselves.

When you see a band enough, you learn a few of their tricks. Jim Hogsett of Semiblind (with the guitar on the left) likes to do this stunt during 'Seven Nation Army.'

Since a lot of their friends were there and wanted to hear a couple originals, I was happy to hear the band comply. They’re over in Salisbury this Saturday night; alas, I can’t make that show.

I did make this one on Saturday evening though:

Your event in lights, courtesy of the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

Walking in, I heard the jazz-tinged rock of The Permilla Project.

If you listen to these guys you'd find they have a number of different musical influences.

They played a set mostly comprised of originals, with a couple covers thrown in. TPP is a talented group who plays the local upscale joints frequently.

Next up was the ’80’s revival of Bluelight Special.

Bluelight Special played an upbeat selection of tunes from the early 1980's. And you can't argue with the pink striped legwarmers.

Before going much farther, it bears mentioning that the half of the local blogosphere I didn’t see at the Conway/Mathias townhall I attended earlier Saturday was at this event. Several contributors to Progressive Delmarva were among the bands playing, plus I met Ridgely Griffith and his daughter Meredith (afterthegoldrush and Twirling…Towards Freedom, respectively.) Melanie of PD is the female member of Bluelight Special, so this was a good time to bring that fact up.

I certainly don’t agree with their politics but give them props for helping out this cause!

Of the bands performing, I was familiar with The Permilla Project and these guys, Not My Own.

Let's just say Not My Own kicked some serious ass and leave it at that.

After the ’80’s pop of Bluelight Special, these guys multiplied the heaviness quotient about fivefold. Yet they had a good sound about them and they were the first of the three “message” acts which played. Between sets the show featured local clergy who related their stories about the experiences they had in Haiti, with the Brumbleys, or both.

Things quieted down again with the lone solo act featured, Corey Franklin.

This picture did a good job in showing the passion Corey Franklin expressed while singing and playing.

Corey played songs which reflected his ministry, as did the headlining act, Reconcile520.

Reconcile520 brought the rock back out, although it was a more mainstream version than Not My Own featured.

What I can’t figure out about this group is whether they comprise a house band for the Uprising Church (who put on the event) or if they just happen to be church members who started the band on their own. All of them certainly show that the young whippersnappers aren’t the only ones who can rock and minister at the same time.

Unfortunately, I found out later that by missing the afternoon session I didn’t get to catch the sixth band on the bill, Proof Of Love. They had a scheduling conflict and only played the earlier session.

Most importantly, I also learned that the event raised over $1,000 for the Brumbleys’ Haitian mission. The room was about half-full for the evening event so perhaps 300 to 400 attended that show. It’s the first of what will likely be a continuing series of performances until the Haitian mission gets back on its feet.

On Sunday I attended a program with a different (but still noble) cause. The Wicomico Child Advocacy Center put on an interesting fundraiser at Chef Fred’s Chesapeake Steakhouse, and although just three bands were on the bill a total of seven acts contributed entertainment, beginning with Wes Davis.

Wes Davis didn't do any of his original work for this show, instead choosing to stick with tried and true classic rock.

After his set, we got more classics from two bands who share many of the same personnel. Agent 99 was on the bill, but many of those members also play for the band Full Circle. See if you can figure out the different players in the next two pictures.

The ladies of Agent 99 were happy to help out this cause and played a short set from the classic rock library - Kim liked their opening song, 'Renegade.'

After a short break to hear from event host Davis Ruark, several members came back to play as Full Circle. Musically there wasn't a large difference as they stuck to upbeat classic rock as well.

Between Agent 99 and Full Circle there was a short break as Davis Ruark announced the CAC will soon have a name change to honor Sarah Foxwell’s memory.

Since this was a fundraiser, there was also a silent auction. I’ve asked Davis Ruark how much was raised but haven’t received an answer yet. These items, though, weren’t moving very briskly.

One of two silent auction tables at the CAC Foxwell fundraiser.

I didn’t know this, but there were other treats in the musical bag as well. This young man is Michael Sky Chester, and at the tender age of 16 he was doing his first full-set solo.

Certainly he was a diamond in the rough, but this 16 year old held his own with his set.

Mom (a.k.a. Marla, singer/guitarist for Agent 99) had a lot to be proud of. Look for this young man to go places.

Another quick performance came from hip-hop singer Rayz, who performed a song he penned in memory of Sarah Foxwell along with another tune from his recent CD.

Rayz is a well-known figure on the Delmarva hip-hop scene and made a name for himself with his song devoted to Sarah Foxwell.

Up next was another young musician who had ties to a previous performer – Natalie Davis is Wes’s daughter.

The talented Natalie Davis graced us with a couple of her original compositions.

This young woman has a voice on her. Perhaps her and Michael Sky Chester could become a duo act – you never know in the world of local Delmarva music.

Finally, we got to hear the heavy covers of Vivid Season. If you turn on a local rock station like 93.5 the Beach or 96 Rock, you’ll probably hear a good portion of the songs Vivid Season covered.

Vivid Season took the songs on today's active rock FM dial and made them their own.

Unfortunately, their performance was marred by the lead singer being sick, yet he gamely went on with the show as best he could. Next time I run across them hopefully he’s in fine voice again.

Well, this certainly qualifies as a weekend of local rock, does it not? If I get a update from Davis Ruark or the CAC on the proceeds from the event I’ll follow up. But there was some disappointment expressed that the event wasn’t promoted better – local blogs did their part but they don’t reach a huge audience yet. We’re still in an era where promotion requires television or print exposure to succeed.

I look for each event to come back in bigger and better form next time around as the kinks have hopefully been worked out of both.

Benefits with friends

This is a tale of two (actually, three) good events in one weekend – if circumstances permit I plan on being at two. Let’s start with next Saturday, February 20th:

You actually have two chances to attend, one during the afternoon and one during the evening. My guess is that the six bands (in alphabetical order they are Bluelight Special, Corey Franklin, Not My Own, Proof Of Love, Reconcile520, and The Permilla Project – someone who reads this may let me know the actual lineup order) will play about a half-hour set apiece with a few minutes set aside for setup, then do it over for show #2. It promises to be a long day for the performers but an entertaining day for the patrons.

One thing this doesn’t tell me, though, is a cost – apparently there is a freewill donation but there are special deals available, at least according to Reconcile520’s Facebook page.

However, you might need to be a little extra generous with your donations on this one. This is a comment from Progressive Delmarva, where “Reconciled1” is one of the contributors:

By the time the civic center added all their extra fees.. the room is costing us roughly 1800 bucks. We were originally told $758 then you add a 10% building improvement fee, .25 a chair rental and set up fee, security, event staff, stage manager, paramedic on site, etc… the room was waaaaayyyy more then first quoted. We had volunteers to do all of this but they refused and said it had to be through them. Our stage manager had an inside track in there and it was taken in front of the board to see if they would donate the room but the board turned it down.. The reason we aren’t selling tickets before the concert at the box office is because there is another added cost to do that. With all things considered, we have roughly $5,000 into the operating cost when you add in the sound and light company and the use of a back room for the bands to hang out during the concert.

We have a restuarant that is feeding us all but we have to use another building for that because the Civic Center wouldn’t allow them to cater in. We would have to us their catering if we want to eat. Live and learn…….. The next concert will most likely be held somewhere else.

This got me thinking back to the first Salisbury Skatepark fundraiser, which was also held at the Civic Center – but subsequent ones were held in other locations. Maybe that’s why.

As far as the bands go, the two I’m most familiar with are The Permilla Project (I’ve seen them at the Salisbury Festival) and Not My Own, which has been featured occasionally on 93.5 the Beach’s “Local Produce” show. So the show should have a fair dose of original music along with some cover stuff too.

Then Sunday brings another benefit show – this one benefitting a different cause.

We all know about the tragic death of Sarah Haley Foxwell late last year, and the Wicomico Child Advocacy Center is using her name (presumably with the permission of her family) to raise money and awareness for their cause. It’s a little different fundraiser for them than I am used to, since the last couple years they have auctioned off special gameworn items from the Shorebirds. Last year’s auction was a bit of a downer because of all the rainouts the team suffered, so this is a different opportunity to contribute to the cause and hear more local music.

(There’s also free food, a silent auction, and 50/50 raffle to help raise money beyond the $20 admission price.)

In this case the bands will be Wes Davis, Agent 99, and Vivid Season. (Yep, this is why I included the Vivid Season video last night.)

I’m more familiar with these bands, although I’ve yet to see Vivid Season live. Wes Davis is a frequent player at Salisbury area events, including the Salisbury Festival, and has performed a number of times on Ocean 98’s “Live Lixx at Six.” And many of the events featured in my Weekend of Local Rock series have been graced by the sounds of the ladies of Agent 99, so I’ve seen them at least a half-dozen times. With the possible exception of Wes Davis throwing in an original composition or two, expect to hear a wide range of classic and modern rock standards remade in each band’s image.

If you haven’t been able to get out this weekend to cure your cabin fever, next weekend may present an opportune time to do so.