Area Musicians Unite to Support Family–Photos and Words

HOPKINSVILLE, KY (1/30/13)—On Sunday, January 27th, over 20 area performers and bands—19 of which played onstage—as well as many caring volunteers, came together at Hopkinsville’s historic Princess Theatre to help raise funds for the family of the late Anthony Burton.

As became apparent while attending the event, the support area musicians and unpaid organizers were able to offer the worthy cause, on a Sunday no less, was overwhelming—and truthfully, quite moving. In an age when face-to-face communication is waning and digitized music dominates the worldwide scene, it was inspiring to see so many people performing back-to-back live sets while working hand-in-hand toward a common, benevolent goal.

And the teamwork ultimately paid off in full.

Hundreds of area residents showed up throughout the day-long benefit and donated a generous, collective sum of $2,000 for Anthony Burton’s family.

Anthony Burton’s grandfather, Quick Fire band member, and “Jamming for Anthony” co-organizer, Mike Braswell—who performed on guitar alongside singer Misti Long Wagner at the onset of the benefit concert—says that the cooperation he witnessed during the event was a direct reflection of how powerful the area music scene can be.

“We are all a tight community when it comes to working with each other, and it was so nice to have all the performers and volunteers come to my need without a question. And I would have done the same for them,” says Braswell. “The people that came out and helped really are beyond compare, though. I loved all the support and it turned out to be an awesome experience.”

Echoing this sentiment, fellow organizer and longtime musician, Mike Thomas, offers up his own take on the success of the concert.

“I was just proud to be a part of it. I was blown away by the support our local musicians provided. They not only lent their talent to the event, they also lent their names, which attracted a lot of people. They posted and reposted the event link on their websites and Facebook pages; they shared their gear; they donated money; and my favorite one, they did not complain. They just got up and did their thing,” explains Thomas. “We musicians are a picky bunch when it comes to our ‘sound,’ and although the stage sound was far from perfect, everyone just pressed on. I had the privilege of hearing every band and was not disappointed by a single act.”

What’s more, Thomas points out that hosting the event on a Sunday yielded a rather unique overall show.

“Some of the coolest aspects of this whole thing was that it was held on a Sunday, there was no alcohol involved, and a lot of the band members were able to bring their kids, which is something many of them rarely get to experience,” says Thomas. “Seeing kids digging on their mom or dad’s music was truly awesome. At one point, Anthony’s little sister was even dancing on the food bar—what a sight that was! There was such joy coming from such a tragedy, and that is the beauty of what we are able to do as musicians.”

A lineup honoring all the bands and performers that offered up their musical talents at the show is as follows: Misti Long Wagner (featuring Mike Braswell); the School of Hard Knocks (formed by Sam Brown, Scott Stevens, Chris Utterback, and Mike Utterback just for the benefit show); Pat Ballard featuring Johnny Keyz and Mollie Garrigan; the Mission of Love Trio (Dave Elliott, Brian Sidebottom, Sherry Barnes); The Cold Stares (Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins); Ray Ligon; Junk Munky (John Valentine, David Stevens, Larry Shewey, and Keith Porter); Patrick “Patson” Richardson; JT Oglesby; the Alonzo Pennington Band (Alonzo Pennington, LJ Granstaff, and Andy Torian); Steppin Stone (Steve Ruby, Jeremy Winstead, Andy McChesney, and James Painter); the Mason Dixon Band (Rickie Ford, Bob Ford, Tracy Hardison, and Bryan Powell); Pillar of Fire (Richie Ford, Allan Black, Matt Sisk, and Travis Franklin); Set In Stone (Aaron Patrick, Michael Piper, Cortland Moore, and David Martin); the Hollywood Gutter Rats (Jon Gilbert, Brian Higgs, and Derrick Sorrells); Junction 41 (John Thompson, Larry and LJ Granstaff, Cody Kirby, and David Bowles); Redneck Riot (Mitch Dupree, Mike Thomas, David Bowles, and Cody Kirby); Falter (Brad Wilson, Adam O’Rear, Kevin Offutt, John Pierce, and Bryan Thomas); and Livewire (Steve Robinson, Louis Duke, Bryan Powell, and John Hancock).

The PA system used during the benefit was donated by musicians Rickie and Bob Ford, while the bass guitar rig was provided by Tracy Hardison. Additionally, Keneuk Helton, who was unable to play, donated his intricate drum kit, which was used throughout the show.

Outside of musicians, the benefit received help from a variety of volunteers as well, including members of the Christian County Air Force ROTC, which were encouraged to pitch-in by Stan and Veronica Widmer. Thomas notes that both Stan and Veronica also helped to grill food in the rain throughout the entire event.

And while the event has come and gone, there are still several ways to show your support for the Burton family during this difficult time. If you’d like to donate, you can visit the official “Jamming for Anthony” site by clicking here. You may also send checks to Anthony’s father, Tim Burton, at the following address:

Tim Burton
320 Grand Orchard Dr.
Hopkinsville, KY 42240

For more information, please contact Mike Braswell via Facebook or by phone at (270) 484-6937. You may also view a previous Sugg Street Post article about Anthony Burton and the benefit concert by clicking here.

Additional photos taken during the event—which feature The Cold Stares, Patson, JT Oglesby, Pat Ballard (featuring Johnny Keyz and Mollie Garrigan), Ray Ligon, the Mission of Love Trio, Junk Munky, Mike Braswell (with family), Brian Greer of Fighting Fate, and some unique sights at the Princess Theatre—are attached below.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos by Luke Short

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