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Monday, August 25, 2014

CFTC-A Benefit for The American Cancer Society

Kathy Withrow & David Vidal sing the National Anthem while Riley Withrow holds the flag
Concert For The Cause
By Lydia Lowe
(all photo's by Bob Hunter)

     It happened again on Saturday night when the non-profit didn't show for the concert.  Third Thursday was the featured non-profit for the evening but at 6:45 p.m. no representatives from the organization had shown up to work the event. 

     However, this time there was a back up plan and the folks from The American Cancer Society sailed in to rescue the concession sales for the evening.  Even though they weren't able to do advance promotion for their event, since they didn't know they'd be the non-profit, and the crowd was a little smaller than usual, the charity walked away with a tidy donation for their evenings work.

Riley and Kathy Withrow
     Riley and Kathy Withrow along with David Vidal opened the show with The National Anthem.  Then Riley and Kathy Withrow took to the stage.  They played for an hour and were spot on with vocals and music.  At one point I'm thrilled to say that they dedicated a song to me, one that I had mentioned to them that I originally groaned when Kathy had announced it at an earlier show.  But the twist that Kathy puts on this song when she sings it as well as her voice when she sings it, with so much emotion, has totally changed my mind about the song.  And the song is "From A Distance".  It's a new favorite of mind.  Thanks for the dedication, Riley and Kathy, it meant so much to me.

David Vidal and his cigar box guitar
     Then David Vidal took the stage.  David's show is always just like the man, unpretentious, straight forward delivery, original music with spot on vocals, and a variety of string instruments including his cigar box guitar. David's style hails back to the days of the traveling folk singer who was able to take everyday life events and elevate them to something profound and out of the ordinary.  His music calls us to re-examine our everyday lives. It's at times, uplifting, sometimes sad and full of sorrow and then we are redeemed, once again.  David is in the area right now and plays a variety of places.  He has some new music out, so if you can catch a show, do that, you won't be sorry. And please buy one of his CD's. the music is great and all musicians appreciate the show of support for their art. 

     Then Sean Story from VOS (Victims of Spotlight) took to the stage with two of his guitar students.  It was wonderful to see these two young people on stage playing and singing.  Both students displayed some fine talent that we may see again on the CFTC stage soon.

     The evening came to a close with Cymbal Sound System who performed several hip hop songs with a positive message.  Perhaps he'll perform again next year.  The crowd really only got a taste of his music so it's hard to know the amount of talent there.  But I'm sure this performer will grow his talent and maybe he'll return next year to perform at a CFTC show.   

Autumn is on the way!
     There are two shows left for the 2014 CFTC season.  Next week is the final show of the season and has been re-branded as a benefit for the family of Liam Smalling.  Originally it was a benefit for Sterling Autism but that group voluntarily stepped back to let the Smalling's benefit from the concession sales.  Then the absolute final show, the Thank You show of the year will be the Saturday after the close of the Kansas State Fair.  Mark your calendars now because you don't want to miss this one.  All the concessions will be free but a donation jar will be set up for those who wish to contribute to The American Cancer Society, although it is not required. Please join CFTC in Avenue A Park, enjoy free food and drinks and some great music as we say good-bye to the summer season and recognize the loyal concert crowd and their contributions to helping non-profits in Hutchinson.  

     Your dollars and change have been very much appreciated by all of the participating non-profits this year.  All of these fine organizations work within tight budgets, from dwindling grant funds or even solely from donations only, and your dollars and change made a big difference this year.

Monday, August 18, 2014

CFTC-A Benefit for First Call For Help

Stacey Sears of H54F

Concert For The Cause
By Lydia Lowe
(all photo's by Bob Hunter)

     The concert series may be winding down, but the musical acts and the non-profits are still just as hot as ever. First Call For Help was at the park with the barbecue grill up and running early,, as the bands began to fill up the back stage area and the crowd began to file into the park.
     On this night, Duffy McGee returned to the CFTC stage.  This was one of the most popular groups CFTC had last year and those in the park had turned out in force to get their fix of Duffy McGee.  The band's music is a mix of bluegrass, jazz, zydeco, country, and rock.  They played original songs as well as cover tunes.  Besides the usual drums, guitars, bass and vocals; this band also features a washboard which always reminds me of New Orleans jazz and zydeco; as well as a banjo which lends a country/western element to the music.  Hard to define but easy to listen too, that would be Duffy McGee, a perennial favorite. 

     Up next was High Five for Fisting (H54F), a group out of Wichita, KS. who classify themselves as an alternative punk rock band.  But they are so much more than that.  They played a variety of different types of songs and you can tell that the band as a whole has a wide variety of influences that feed into the music that they create.  Stacey Sears sings vocals and combining her voice with the tunes that the band lays down makes the group one to watch.  In fact, Stacy and the band opened the concert by singing "America". H54F has started playing Hutchinson on a regular basis, as of late, so if you didn't get the chance to check them out at the CFTC event, check them out when they play again in Hutchinson.

Inflection from McPherson, KS.
     Rounding out the evening was Inflection from McPherson, KS. Trent, one of the band members, also did the sound for the evening's event.  I heard the band during sound check and they are a heavy metal band, who is also a rock band who also defies description, and I mean that in a good way.  I wasn't sure what the crowd reaction would be like but the crowd was mostly positive.  In fact, one of the ladies working the concession said that she was so happy we had chosen them for the event.  Her son was very musical, playing and singing much of the same type music at home and it did her heart good to hear the tunes the band was laying down.  Hopefully, CFTC will have them back again next year.

     The season is winding down but don't forget that there are two more concerts left in August and then there will be the big "Thank You" concert the Saturday after the Kansas State Fair.  This is a great way to end the season with free food, drinks and as always the donation jar will be out for an individual in the community.  This year CFTC will be collecting funds for Liam Smalling's family.


Monday, August 11, 2014

CFTC-A Benefit for St. Vincent DePaul

Stevie Warren of Road 23 opens the evening's event
 Concert For The Cause
By Lydia Lowe
(all photo's by Bob Hunter)

     It’s amazing what a little promotion before an event can do to help a charity raise a phenomenal amount of money.  On Saturday, St. Vincent DePaul raised the largest amount of money ever raised for a CFTC Saturday in the park event.  The crowd showed up early, en mass, and the line for food and drinks never stopped.  It was one of the best events CFTC has ever held.  St. Vincent DePaul had completely exhausted their funds so this was a windfall that is going to make a big difference within the community.

Road 23 entertains the crowd
      The evening started out with a group from El Dorado, Kansas known as Road 23.  The lead singer for the group, Stevie Warren, sang The National Anthem to open the evening’s entertainment and hit every single note.  It looked to me like it wasn’t that much of a stretch for her, either.  Obviously she has put in a lot of time singing and practicing to make it look that easy.  The rest of the band’s set did not disappoint, it only got better from there.  The crowd was rocking out to every song the band sang, and the band, collectively, put their whole heart and soul into each track.  

The Brian Davis Band wow's the crowd
      This group set up a merchandise table, along with The Brian Davis Band, and had CD’s, t-shirts and various other items for sale.  The crowd purchased a variety of items and seemed thrilled to have the opportunity to do this.  I overheard a few concert-goers who mentioned that they wished other bands would do this so they could take home the band’s music with them to play later.  So having that merchandise table really helped the crowd connect more fully with the band.  I believe that it will also remind them of the band’s name so they can catch them again the next time they see the name advertised for an upcoming performance.

Brain Davis entertains the crowd; he's not really purple, we were experimenting with colored lights
     Following Road 23 was The Brian Davis Band.  What a group!  This band is a favorite around Hutchinson and the surrounding area.  They bill themselves as a Christian rock band but what I find interesting about this group is that they don’t just draw a typical Christian rock audience.  They seem to have the knack for meeting people from all walks of life where they are and then delivering a Christian message that everyone can relate too.  Truly a unique group.  One of the first songs they played for the evening’s entertainment had a bit of a harder edge to it.  Something different from the group on this evening and another one of their new songs not yet recorded.  The St. Vincent DePaul ladies up at the concession table as well as the crowd, were intrigued by the new sound coming from the stage and we weren’t able to see what group was playing at the time.  Then of course there was that unmistakable Brian Davis sound and everyone just knew then, and began moving and grooving to the beat on that one.  

     The Brian Davis Band always brings a lot with them to any show, and on this night they also brought the first band with them.  In fact, the crowd has The Brian Davis Band to thank for introducing all of us to the opening act, Road 23, as they met them at a battle of the bands event at the Cotillion earlier this year and asked them to play for CFTC.

Frankie Shayne of ZSP (Zero Self Project)
     ZSP aka Zero Self Project rounded out the evening.  Frankie Shayne has several projects going with several different musical groups.  Each one has a unique sound all their own.  I missed ZSP last year when they played CFTC.  I thought this group might be similar to the Soapbox Troubadors that Frankie also heads up.  I was so wrong.  This group plays a wide variety of different genres of music that all seems to flow together; everything from rock to country to Christian, etc.  Too end the evening Frankie even performed a song they’ve been working on, an original heavy metal screamer type of song that seemed to confuse everyone at first, then the crowd was intrigued, and a variety of remarks were made, nothing negative, other than a few members of the crowd thought he might ruin his voice with the vocals.  The crowd stayed until he finished that song because it was so out of character with the rest of the evening’s music that no one could leave until it was done.  Many were grooving to the beat and really enjoying the uniqueness of the song.

ZSP performs after darkness sets in over Avenue A Park
      The evening ended far too soon for the record number of concert-goers and they filed out of the park slowly and reluctantly.  Never fear though, CFTC will be back for three more concerts on Saturdays in August.  You won’t want to miss the final concert, a thank you concert for the crowd, the first Saturday after the Kansas State Fair ends.  This was one of the favorite concerts last year.  Find out more about the concerts, the music, and the charities by checking out CFTC on Facebook and the CFTC website.

Monday, August 4, 2014

CFTC-A Benefit for The Hutchinson Theatre Guild

Bob Colladay opens the show
 Concert For The Cause
By Lydia Lowe
(all photo's by Bob Hunter)

      It was an evening in three acts this past Saturday night at Concerts For The Cause.    Bob Colladay set the scene for the evening with The National Anthem as he sang the words to the song and accompanied himself on the ukulele. 

Jonathan Fleig
      From there the night transitioned to the first act of the evening which was a folk rock fusion of sorts as Jonathan Fleig took to the stage and delivered a spot on performance.  The early audience had come specifically to hear Fleig play as he has quite a following in Hutchinson.  Fleig’s voice has a unique quality to it and his performance is not the run of the mill type of performance that a person would expect when they hear the term folk music tossed around.  He peppers his tunes with scenes from his life, draws you in, and then plays a variety of folk and rock tunes, some original some not, until you’ve been completely taken in to the performance.  Your cares just seem to float away for that hour.  He plays The Metro frequently so if you missed him Saturday night, check him out at The Metro.

Colton Gartleman
       Act two featured Colton Gartleman from Victims of Spotlight (VOS).  He did an acoustic set without the band.  He’s done this before at various venues around town, although not nearly enough as far as I’m concerned.  The songs he picks pair perfectly with his voice and the way he plays that guitar.  Put that together with his overall look, and he had a lot of ladies in the crowd across the creek paying very close attention to everything he was doing.  Colton’s set ended far too soon.

Strange Night
    Then came act three, the final act of the night.  It was getting on to dark and time for some good ole rock and roll.  This happens to be the specialty of Strange Night.  They played a variety of oldies but goodies that the crowd could sing along with and they did.  From the crowd reaction to this group, I think they could have played all night and the crowd would have held their ground and stayed until dawn’s early light just listening to the music.  Crowd reaction even got an extended encore out of the band.  They held their crowd so well that it had to be announced, “Hey, the concert is over and it’s time to go home now.”

Diane Pettipas (vocals) created this shirt for the show; if you like it, let her know, maybe she can make one for you
     The Hutchinson Theatre Guild was the non-profit for the evening and it was one of the more successful fund raisers that CFTC has done this year.  The Theatre Guild and CFTC were both very thankful for the crowd and the donations raised for the cause.

Why shouldn't ukulele players decorate up their cases with travel stickers?
      Check out Avenue A Park every Saturday from June through August for another concert and another fine cause.  There’s music, food, drinks and fun, plus always some surprises.  You never know what will happen at a CFTC event.  

We nearly had a dog fight when a pit bull decided to follow some concert goers and their dog to the park