Two benefit concerts highlight this weekend’s live music options; giving area music fans the opportunity to rock while helping others in need.
This evening at the Knight of Columbus hall (1400 S. Broad St.) in Griffith three live music groups of various styles – The Jimmy Sarr Band, Visions of Santana and One Timer -- meet up to help the family of local resident John “Cujo” Perez, who died last month in a tubing accident while vacationing in Tennessee. A $30 per person donation is asked and includes food, an open bar and plenty of live entertainment.
“We play high energy modern country with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude,” said Jimmy Sarr of his self-named combo who takes center spot in the event’s performance line up. “If you take ‘80s rock and fuse it with twang you get the JSB sound.”
Opening the Perez family benefit is One Timer, a quartet who is a musical blend of classic rock, modern rock and grunge. “These guys are good,” said Sarr. “Imagine if the Kinks had a love child with The Police and it was raised by Nirvana, and best friends with The White Stripes.”
Closing out the live music will be Visions of Santana, whose name sums up their show, a tribute to guitarist Carlos Santana and his iconic San Francisco group, whose sound was/is powered by powerful Afro-Latin rhythms and grooves. The band mixes up the early, mid and latter day periods of the long-running Santana band. More information is available by calling the K of C hall at (219) 865-8542.
More local musicians on a mission will be found Saturday, at The Moose Lodge (108 Indiana Ave.) in Valparaiso, when five region-based bands gather to raise awareness and money to help combat cancer.
“Rock 4 Hope 2012” benefits the Porter County Cancer Society from 5pm to midnight with live music sets from funk/hip-hop artists The Gomez Show (5pm), classic rockers Short Notice (6:30pm), teenage garage rockers Flight 1050 (sponsored by Front Porch Music, 7:30pm), alternative rock combo The Bunk (8:30pm), with the evening closing out to a set of fiery guitar-driven blues courtesy of The Planetary Blues Band.
“Food is included in the $10 donation requested while it lasts and is being donated by two Valparaiso businesses JJ’s Pizza Shack and Jimmy John’s, who are providing sandwiches and party pizzas,” said Steve Villigran, one of the volunteer organizers of the event. “All the money raised goes to The Porter County Cancer Society. Event info: (219) 263-9288 or (219) 462-7466. More on the PCCS online at: WWW.PORTERCOUNTYCANCERSOCIETY.COM
• This columnist will discuss the region music scene’s evolution over the last 40 years while spinning a selection of vintage and current recordings made by local music artists, as a guest this Thursday, October 4 on radio program “Flying Around The Sun” (airing 9 to 11pm) on WJOB 1230AM. The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Indiana musicians Mark Mybeck and Phil Rapchak.
• Chicagoland rock band The Wind Gypsys – Nick Laramie (guitar/vocals), Ray Klass (bass/vocals) and Neil Holmquist (drums/percussion/vocals) -- have wrapped up work on their latest CD, “Free To Ride Again.” The original music project recorded over the summer at Dungeon Studios in St. John and features “Ode to DB,” a song dedicated to the memories of the late rock icons Duane Allman and Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band. That song features a special guest appearance by celebrated rock violinist David Ragsdale of the classic rock group Kansas. More at: WWW.WINDGYPSYS.COM
• On October 2, Northwoods Restaurant is hosting its annual “500 Turkeys” fundraiser with the help of singer/songwriter Adam Ezra from 7 to 10pm. The $10 per person donation goes towards the purchase of turkeys to feed the Northwest Indiana community. “Our goal is to provide 500 families with a Thanksgiving Day Dinner,” said Northwoods owner Jeff Fryzel. “This is an all ages event so bring the kids and make them part of something special. Adam Ezra will be performing live (adamezra.com) and there will be plenty of giveaways. More: (219) 558-8130 and WWW.500TURKEYS.COM
• Perennial region rockers The Matteson Allstars Band continues to crank out original tunes into their fourth decade together and have some new selections – “Radio,” “Runaway,” and “The Healer” – now uploaded for your perusal and listening pleasure on their web site: WWW.MATTESONALLSTARS.COM