The members of the country music group Hazzard County have circled the wagons and are coming to the aid of a longtime fan and friend Dan Berrisford by putting together a multi-band event on March 29 at the Fraternal Order of Eagles (13140 Lakeshore Drive) in Cedar Lake. The doors open at 4 p.m. with Hazzard County scheduled to kick off the live entertainment at 5 p.m., followed by full sets from two other area country bands, Falls Creek and Bridgewater.
Lifelong region native Dan Berrisford has suffered five heart attacks and three open heart surgeries coupled with long hospital stays and multiple tests all with no insurance, so the bands have rallied together to produce this event to raise funds to help Berrisford and his wife Ellen battle the mountain of medical bills and day to day living expenses
Along with the bands, a pork chop dinner is planned from 4-7:30 p.m. along with raffles and a silent auction. A donation of $10 is requested and the event is open to all ages. More information is found on the Facebook.com event page: Benefit for Dan and Ellen Berrisford.
· Congratulations to my longtime friend and colleague Charlie Blum, president, CEO and talent buyer for Star Plaza Theatre, on his 25th Anniversary at the venue called “a jewel in the cornfields” when it was first opened 35 years ago by Dean White. The building of Holiday Star Theatre, as it was called then, was the catalyst for the stream of steady growth and development along U.S. 30 over the years.
I first met Charlie when he was booking shows at Poplar Creek Music Theatre and was thrilled when Dean and Bruce White wooed him away from New York’s Nederlander Organization and officially gave him the reins at Star Plaza in March 1989. Blum’s vision has guided it since, expanding the range of talents from standard Vegas fare to top Country, R&B, Jazz and Rock artists; while also inserting his personal passion for live theater productions.
It has been my great pleasure to know and work with Charlie Blum for all of his 25 years as the premier talent wrangler of Northwest Indiana and I look forward to the next 25 to come.
· Chicago combo Dean III & The Wagers have released their full length original CD “Dirty Souls” helmed by veteran producer Sean O’Keefe (Plain White T's, Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights). Along with Dean III (nee Goldstein), The Wagers are drummer Scott Gillis, bassist Kirk Bec and guitarist Jonathan “Monty” Pollock. Together they have an Americana groove with punk/pop attitude that reminds this columnist a bit of early stuff from The Blasters.
Dean III & The Wagers perform on Friday (3/21) in Chicago as part of a multi-band show at The Red Line Tap (7006 N. Glenwood Ave.). They have the 10pm second slot on a bill that includes Two Bozos (9 p.m.), The Idle Rich (11 p.m.) and Common Poverty (12 a.m.). The best part is you get all four bands for just five bucks! Show info: www.redlineta.com
Although “Dirty Souls” is the band’s debut recording, it serves as a “comeback” of sort for Dean Goldstein a pop singer who a decade ago seemed destined for greatness only to become yet another corporate casualty during the great label mergers of the era that left many talented artists without a musical home to hang their hat.
“A lot of the record has to do with me getting clean and sober,” said Dean of the songs. “I finally decided that I have been padlocked to swimming against the current upriver my whole life, and my arms are tired! I was sick and tired of always forcing things to try to go the way I thought they should go. I decided to completely let go, and to trust that something would work out, whatever it was. There began my attempt to do it the right way this time, as a clean and sober thinking individual, to treat it as a business entity.”
View the delightfully campy “out of this world” video for the new single “Slow Death,” by typing Dean III & The Wagers into the search engine at www.YouTube.com.
· I invite readers of this column to check out my newly launched web site – www.tomlounges.com – where several dozen archived photos from my many years in the music and entertainment world take you through four decades of personal celebrity encounters.
Email Tom Lounges at email@example.com