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Friday, June 26, 2015

CFTC-Smallville Edition

     Try this recipe:

                Invite 50,000 of your closest friends
                Provide a good meal (hamburgers, hotdogs, pop and water)
                And don’t forget dessert (snow cones, cotton candy)
                Live Entertainment (music, an artist painting masterpieces on the sidewalk)
                Water Park for the kiddos
                Check out a new vehicle and dream of $25,000 toward a new ride
                Plan for future entertainment via The Roller Derby girls
                Every party needs a theme, this weekend the theme was Super Heroes

      Mix it all together and what do you get: Smallville Weekend CFTC Style.

     This weekend CFTC and The Smallville Festival joined forced once again to bring live entertainment downtown.  The charities that benefited from the weekends festivities in the park were The Food Bank and The Boys and Girls Club.

      A variety of musical styles were represented over the weekend.  And E Metal kicked off the weekend with metal music.  I overheard someone in the audience remark that “now it’s time to make the metal.”  They were followed by Burgess Martin who treated the audience to his infamous tap method for guitar. And once again, the audience was entranced by the technique that Martin has perfected but also by the fact that those sounds can actually come out of guitar, who knew a guitar could sound like this.   Emma Lou and the Rednecks continued the evening’s music with a variety of different tunes.  Emma Lou started out her set by getting cozy with the audience by taking a seat on the edge of the stage and crooning a love song.   Dockers finished out the evening by getting everyone on their feet and drawing the crowd together with feel good tunes that they’d written. 

      The following night was teen night and each singer or group was under 18 years of age.  The audience heard from Braylin, The Lough Brothers (the youngest boy was quite the showman-everyone was talking about him all over the park).  The Lough Brothers are going to go far.  I saw them on The Bret and Sierra Show and they sang an original tune which they treated the audience in the park too as they wrapped up their set.  It’s a terrific song.  Then there was Jay Wheelz (AKS Josh Lightsey) who has made terrific leaps forward with his talent since we last saw him last year.  The transformation was amazing.  He was professional and polished.  The evening’s entertainment ended with Brody who carried on with the show even though he may have been nervous to start, the audience never knew.

     CFTC will be back next Saturday with another great group of musician's, more great music and of course they’ll be food, drinks and fun.  Bring your lawn chairs and pick a shady spot in the grass early, the music starts at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


     Summer’s heat and humidity may have diminished the crowds on The Plaza in McPherson, but the show must go on.

       Riley and Kathy Withrow entertained on The Plaza this past Thursday night as The McPherson Dog Park cooked up hamburgers and hotdogs for those in attendance.  They played a variety of tunes, everything from country, to folk, to rock-n-roll, oldies, jazz, you name it.  I particularly enjoyed the Roseanne Cash tunes and The Eagles song.  The Withrow’s voices were in fine form this night and the guitar music was superb. 

      Although the crowd was small and some of the regulars were not in attendance on this night, those that were there did their best to get the word out.  Many of those listening on The Plaza called their friends and family members and invited them to come share in the music.  There was a lot of come and go foot traffic that came for the food, left their donations and then headed on off to other pursuits.  

      Though the crowd was small and there was only one act on this night, the donations collected tied with another organization for the second highest amount of money raised.  All in all a good night of music, food and fun on The Plaza. 

     This Thursday is the final installment of Concert For The Cause-McPherson.  The benefit will be for The McPherson  Saddle Club and will feature Katie Berry and Adam Capps.  Find out what everyone is talking about around McPherson.  Come out to The Plaza to hear some fantastic live music, have supper and get in on all the fun.

Friday, June 19, 2015


     CFTC at Avenue A Park in Hutchinson had somewhat of a circus feel to it on Saturday night.  Although this was only the second show of the CFTC Hutchinson season, it was extremely well attended.  The charity and CFTC knew that this would be one of the biggest shows of the summer season.  Last year, the St. Vincent DePaul Society charity show was the largest one CFTC had held to date.  This year was no different.

     The St. Vincent DePaul Society spends a considerable amount of time promoting before the event which always helps get the crowd out to the park. This year there was the usual hotdog, hamburgers, pop and water; but there was also baked good of all kinds to tempt the appetite.

     There were limo rides provided by No Problimo which were a real hit.  Who could resist that beautiful white limo at the curb with a limo driver, suitably attired, for a drive around Hutchinson.  No Problimo charged $5.00 a ride and all the proceeds went to the nights charity.  Look for the chance to ride in the limo at other CFTC events.

     Mid West Ford brought a beautiful black Toyota to the event and donations could be made for a chance to enter the drawing to win $25,000. toward a new car at an event that Mid West Ford will be hosting in December.  The money from this drawing also went to the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

     The Soapbox Troubadores opened the evening with their signature sound and lots of original music.  They played an hour set and the crowd was entranced.  This group is very popular in Hutchinson and the surrounding area.  At the end of their set they asked if there were any requests and of course, no Soapbox show is ever complete without their signature song "Home".  This brought a tear to the eye of many in the crowd. 

     Up next was The Brian Davis Band.  This show marked the final concert for The Brian Davis Band.  They did a release of their brand new CD as the band also said its good-bye's. The songs they played were those from the new CD, from beginning to end and then a few favorites from their first CD.  Their musical style had strengthened and grown from the first CD.  As the band said their good-bye's at the end, there were a lot of tears.  The band had merchandise for sale on a donation basis, except for the CD which was $10.  All the money raised was given to The St. Vincent DePaul Society.

     Tonight's benefit for The St Vincent DePaul Society was earmarked for one very special family, The Sanchez family, who are going through a real medical struggle with one of their children.  This medical emergency has been going on for 16 years and it's taking its toll on the family financially.  Finally a cure has been found and the family will travel back east to get a welcome and final surgery for their son.  They'll be there a month and the money raised from this benefit will help defray the costs of the family being gone for this extended period of time.  A record amount of money was raised at this past Saturday's event.  This will help the family a lot.  If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, contact The St. Vincent DePaul Society, all donations are appreciated.

     This week there will be music in Avenue A Park on Friday and Saturday night in celebration and as part of The Smallville Comic Con.  Come check out the music and other festivities during Smallville weekend.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015


       With rain threatening to the west, CFTC continued on with the show.  Tonight's benefit was for The McPherson Humane Society.  Not only was there food and drink for the human spectators, but a large water tank full of refreshing water was provided for dogs attending the event.

     The evenings entertainment began with Kaylee Keller and her guitarist, Brody Caster.  Kaylee sang a variety of songs by Country Music artists that she admires.  Her guitarist sang original songs the he had written, also giving insight into what had prompted him to write these songs and what they meant to him.  The two switched back and forth between Kaylee and Brody, which made for some lively entertainment as a small crowd began together.

     Then Duffy MaGee took to the stage.  The crowd swelled as they played one original blue grass number after another.  They even injected some cover tunes into their set as well.  The novelty of guitar, bass, banjo and washboard was just to irresistible.  Generally the crowd will begin to drift away as the night begins to grow dusky, but on this night, the crowd wasn't leaving until the final chords were played.  Even after the band had done an encore and finally told the crowd they were done for the evening, the crowd stayed around a while just in case some more music broke out.

     CFTC has their biggest crowd on The Plaza since the McPherson series began.  There were even a couple of hardy souls sitting on the roof of the Warren Building across the street.  Who knew that McPherson was in love with Bluegrass music.  This benefit netted the largest amount raised by a charity, so far in McPherson. 

     Only two more concerts remain for the McPherson season of CFTC.  If you haven't come out to see what all the fuss is about, join CFTC on The Plaza this coming Thursday night.  Supper is available for a donation to a local charity, you'll see many of your friends and neighbors there, it's a fun and enjoyable evening with live local music.  All CFTC events are family friendly.  Stop by The Plaza in McPherson and check out what everyone in town is talking about.

Friday, June 12, 2015


      This past Saturday saw the return of CFTC to Hutchinson's Avenue A Park.  Tonight's featured non-profit was Intern Hutch a part of the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce.  Before the festivities got under way, the Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Nearly all the board members of the CFTC organization were on hand for the event.

     Jonathan Fleig opened the show with his own brand of original songs and one of his all time favorite songs originally sung by Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.  He performed the acoustic, country version of the song.  Flieg also told the crowd about a recent project he'd been working on entitled Road to Nowhere.  Look for more information about a screening of the film featuring the music from the new CD.  This musical project was performed entirely outside in the elements.  The music has a down home feel to it and I'm sure the film project that accompanies the music will be amazing as well.

     After the performance in Avenue A Park, Jonathan Fleig gave a concert at Smedley's Tavern.  This year many of the performers will be performing at other venues after their set in the park.  So if you like what you hear in the park, the party in many cases will continue at other venues around town.  There will be an announcement at some point during the show about where you can hear more of the music you enjoy.

     Shawn Craver rounded out the night with more original tunes for the crowd.  Shawn last performed for CFTC at the opener for the McPherson CFTC edition.  He performed with The DeVeils at that show.  There's a rumor that The DeVeils may have broken up.  Craver's music is great in or out of a group setting.  There's talk that he and The DeVeils may play Third Thursday in June.  So be sure to check out Third Thursday, you just might get to hear more of Craver's music.

     This week's crowd was small and scattered around the park.  Next week, CFTC features a benefit for St Vincent DePaul with the final performance of The Brian Davis Band.  The Soapbox Troubadores will also perform.  Last year the show benefiting St Vincent DePaul was one of the biggest shows CFTC had and this year will be no different.  This organization and these bands do an amazing amount of promotion each year and it shows.  So join CFTC next Saturday for one of the biggest and the best.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


     Thursday night and another CFTC show in McPherson.  Tonight's benefit was for The United Way of McPherson County.  The featured artist's this evening were Road 23 from El Dorado, KS. and The Dockers from Hutchinson.

     Early in the CFTC McPherson series we were treated to a  wonderful rendition of The National Anthem sung by Stevie Warren from Road 23.  She returned on Thursday with her family band and treated the crowd to the full Road 23 experience. As the music played, the crowd began to swell and grow as more and more people joined those already on The Plaza to hear Road 23.

     The evening wrapped up with The Dockers, formerly The Balkans, and formerly Earth To Matilda, which features Conner Eaves, Isaac Glover, and Mitchell Probst.  The band has been going through a lot of changes lately including name changes, and band member line-ups.  However, the sound, the songs, and the music remains the same.  This band has a loyal following who show up for all their events, no matter where or when. Conner and other band members write their own unique songs and perform them in there own unique way.  While the band may grow and change, the name may remain in flux, and the band members may leave and return, this band has a unique and enduring sound that never changes.

     This coming Thursday, stop by The Plaza in McPherson around 7:00 pm and check out the CFTC benefit for The Humane Society.  Kaylee Keller and Duffy Magee will perform.  As always, there will be pop and water available, hotdogs, hamburgers and other items. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


      The rain held off for the third week in a row and CFTC-McPherson edition went off without a hitch.  Tonight's donations were going to help The McPherson Opera House.  This week was a special night with some unusual talent on the stage.

     First up was Jonathan Fleig.  He performed an acoustic set of songs off his new CD Road to Nowhere.  The story behind this CD is an interesting one.  Jonathan performed and recorded all of the songs for the CD, outside in a natural setting all over Kansas.  He had all types of weather, insects, animals, you name it to contend with as he worked on these songs.  All that comes through on the CD and adds so very much to the overall project.  While he was performing and recording, a camera crew was following him around filming everything.  The majority of the footage became an independent film that is currently touring the country.  The film had even won a couple of awards.  I heard that The McPherson Opera House may feature Jonathan's music and his film at the venue in 2016.  So watch for that announcement.

     During his set, Fleig also featured a tribute to a song that changed the face of music some 24 or 25 years ago in May 1991.  This song was written by several people including Kurt Cobain and it was the 1st track on Nirvana's Nevermind CD.  Fleig sang a country acoustic version of the song.  It was excellent.

     Next up was Burgess Martin and Josh Keeling from the Phenomenon band.  Burgess wowed the audience with several different ways of playing the guitar.  He used a bow, he played two guitars at the same time, he used his infamous tap method.  The audience was mesmerized.  In fact, everyone, jumped to their feet when he began to play and got as close to the stage as they could get to see the action.  Who knew a guitar could sound like that, so otherworldly.  Truly an amazing talent.  Add in the bass guitar licks, provided live by Josh Keeling and sizzling drum beats, provided electronically and what a show.

     As Fleig played his acoustic set, people were drawn in and the crowd swelled.  The crowd continued to be mesmerized by the otherworldly sounds coming from Martin's talented hands, and then Martin played a tribute to the video game Zelda.  The crowd began to disperse and eventually disband altogether.  To which Martin replied, "I guess no one liked my Zelda tribute," and laughed.  Truly though, I just think everyone was just relaxed, happy and ready to head home after a wonderful night of live music on The Plaza.