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Wednesday, August 31, 2016


     Unfortunately the fundraiser for The McPherson Dog Park was cancelled due to rain a few weeks ago and so this past Thursday, Concerts For The Cause held a make up event for The Dog Park.This was the final event for the 2016 McPherson Summer Season.

     The evenings music was provided by Cody Marceau, along with his friends Kylie and Cheyenne.  I don't know if it was stage jitters or the group just wasn't very prepared, but the first two songs were not good. Cody's guitar playing was terrific. The lyrics to the songs, however, started out strong and then got lost, finally it was just Cody playing the guitar. It was hard to tell if this was due to lack of preparation or jitters or if something else was going on.

      A cover tune of Ho Hey a tune made popular by the group The Lumineers was the first song of the night. The audience was familiar with the lyrics so not a good one to forget the words too. Marceau and the ladies persevered and as the evening wore on, the group all finally got on the same page, harmonizing well together, singing all the lyrics to each song they performed.

      I'm happy to report that The McPherson Dog Park was able to finally get their fencing in place and announced at the event that they would be stretching it on Saturday, inviting the crowd to come and help them anchor it in place.

     At the end of the concert, the summer season in McPherson drew to a close. Time to purchase that final sno cone and bag of popcorn as we say good-bye to summer. Don't forget, Concerts For The Cause-McPherson will be back next year, beginning with All Schools Day Weekend. I've heard talk of another street dance and some exciting plans are already being made for next year.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creedence Clearwater Revisited

     Founding members of CCR, Stu Cook and Doug "Cosmo" Clifford have put together a rocking good group of musicians for this new project of theirs: Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

     The band sounded amazing and true to all the classics that this group has produced. The rhythm section with Cook and Clifford kept the group cohesive. The additional members of the group add just the right finishing touch. If you close your eyes, you'd swear this was the original Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's truly a testament to Cook and Clifford that they were able to find the right mix of musicians that believe in the music, and have the ability to recreate it in its true form. I walked out of there still singing along with all the music that I'd heard earlier in the evening.  The Stiefel Theatre provided just the right acoustics to put the band's sound over the top. Truly a memorable night.



     On Sunday, at The Rusty Needle Concerts For The Cause held a fund raiser for First Call For Help's school backpack/school supplies initiative.

The band: Room 347
     Riley and Kathy Withrow opened the show with their acoustic guitars and rock standards. I love to hear them play. It was a hot afternoon in the sun but they did an amazing job. Both played their heart out even though the crowd was sparse. You'd have never known it by their performance. The Withrow's gave it their all.

     Jay Wheelz took to the stage next and did some spoken word poetry/rap to open his show. It was interesting to hear how he views his music and his life. I'm a poetry buff and thought this was a great way to open his hour. Wheelz also explained where his stage name comes from and I have to admit I always wondered about the origin of that name. Now I know. There was a bit more of a crowd at this point, as the other two bands that would play after him had arrived, as well as some of their families and fans.

     Naked Fingers took to the stage after Jay Wheelz finished his set. This group had a harder sound. To go from the soft acoustic Withrow's to the mellow rap of Jay Wheelz and then a harder, rough sound, it was a little disconcerting at first. But they won me over.

      The last band to play was Room 347. Wow! They blew me away. By this time, it was hot, the band was sweating profusely and yet, they played as though none of this was going on. No sun in their eyes, no sweat running down their face, no parched throats, the show must go on. What showmen. Each member of the band not only played their instrument but they had a variety of moves that they threw in as they played. Fun to watch and great tunes too. Room 347 performed some covers and some original tunes. The crowd had grown a bit by now and when the band said they'd come to the last song, the assembled crowd talked them into one more song. Truly we'd have kept them there all evening if we thought we could have gotten them to stay and play.

     Unfortunately, First Call For Help didn't make very much at the fundraiser. If you can, please donate to this worthy cause. First Call does so much good in the community. They can use your support all year long for a wide variety of projects that benefit so many in need. Please consider a donation for this worthy organization.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


     Then on Saturday it was time for Concerts For The Cause Back to School Street Dance. If you missed this show, you missed a heck of a good time!

     Jeremy Hanna kicked off the evenings festivities from The Little Red Wagon stage. I believe that Hanna has become one of my new favorite performers. I just love to hear him play. Brian Hopp of Hopps Sno Shack found a real gem when he hired Hanna to play these CFTC events. This guy is good! Hanna plays acoustic guitar and he's spot on with his tunes, even playing outside in the heat and humidity, he does an outstanding job. He got the crowd all warmed up and ready for the headliner, Hell Creek Bridge.

     The McPherson Fire Department had their ladder truck out with a giant American flag hanging over the street stage as well as a fire truck pulled up blocking the street as a back drop for the stage. Little did anyone in the crowd know that as it got dark the light from the firetruck became the stage lights. There were regular flood lights and the red and blue truck lights. What a nifty idea!

     A chilly night for a dunk tank, but there were quite a few takers willing to be tossed into icy cold water for charity. Thank you to the brave souls who volunteered to be dunked. Across the way was a bounce house all decked out in Dalmation dog spots. There was no end to the line of children wanting to jump around in the bounce house or slide down the bounce house slide. For those to small for either the dunk tank or the bounce house, there was face painting.

     The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts had tables set up to give out information regarding their programs and they even ended up connecting with one another and making possible plans for activities together.

     Freddy's Frozen Custard was selling dishes of custard, of course there were sno cones from Hopps Sno Shack, and The Humane Society was selling popcorn and water. Craft Coffee was there if you were needing a warmer alternative. As always, the sno cone line was never ending. The girls working the sno shack were still wearing smiles when I stepped up for my sno cone at 10 pm. I was impressed that they could be that overwhelmed with a never ending line for three hours and when I stepped up there they still looked fresh and were still nice as could be.

     The Bug Lady from Wichita was there to put bugs on people, if they wanted to try them out on a test run. I had to laugh when at one point, The Bug Lady stepped away from her booth to talk to the Humane Society and when she turned around to go back to her booth, the massive crowd had sealed her way back. She held up the bug she was carrying over her head and yelled into the crowd, "Bugs coming through, no need to be alarmed they won't bite." The crowd parted like the Red Sea. After dark, she brought out the tarantula and put it on a couple of folks who had requested it. There was a lot of shivering and surpressed screams.

     At 8 pm, Hell Creek Bridge took to the street to play for a couple of hours. As it began to get dark the crowd also took to the street as young and old alike danced as if no one was watching. The drummer from Hell Creek Bridge played earlier in the season. Tonight the crowd got to see the rest of the band. They were incredible. They played a variety of country tunes but a few rock tunes made it into the mix, too. Very polished and professional would be accurate words to describe this group. Hell Creek Bridge is one to watch as they are going places. It was impossible to sit still while they played. Toes were tapping, feet were dancing, hands were clapping. It was a great time!

     This was a benefit for the McPherson Fire Department's Fill The Boot for MDA campaign and it also benefited The Humane Society whose event was rained out earlier in the season.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016


     This past weekend was a busy weekend for Concerts For The Cause. There were two events in McPherson and one in Hutchinson.

     On Thursday night, at Hopp's Sno Shack it was the return of Chris Arpad. Last year Arpad wrapped up the McPherson summer season to a standing room only crowd. This years crowd was even bigger than last years.

     Earlier in the day, the McPherson Parks Department dropped off benches to accommodate the crowd that was expected and it's a good thing too. Every park bench was full, people brought their own chairs, as well, and a good thing too as the sidewalks across the street were filled with folks. The line for sno cones stretched across the paved patio, spilled onto the sidewalk and stretched halfway down the block, never seeming to get any shorter.

     McPherson College students walked in from the college in groups of 10 or more students to attend the festivities. McPherson College was collecting funds at this event to donate to Circles of McPherson. Donating to the college was actually a donation for Circles. Interesting twist to the Concert For The Cause concept.

     Chris Arpad blew the crowd away with his island drum sound and calypso beat. There was a light breeze, the music was sensational and if you closed your eyes you'd swear you were on a cruise ship or a Caribbean island. A magical evening. The evenings music kicked off with the Bob Marley classic "Jammin". Arpad took time to explain about the drums he uses in his act which I found fascinating.

      No night of island music would be complete without Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville". At one point in the evening, Arpad tossed beach balls into the crowd for young and old alike to bat around. Of course, a conga line broke out at one point, this has become a staple of Arpad's performances in McPherson.

      A fun evening of music, Chris Arpad had so much fun himself, he has decided to make this an annual event and will be back next summer in late August to play for Concerts For The Cause in his third annual performance. Jim Griggs, from National Geographic, was on hand to take photo's of Arpad's performance.

     An amazing night. Anticipation builds for what's coming up on Saturday night with Concerts For The Cause Back To School street dance.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


      Two weeks ago the Concert For The Cause event in McPherson was rained out. But have no fear, the band that was set to perform that night, Hell Creek Bridge, will perform at a street dance to raise funds for The McPherson Fire Department's MDA Fill The Boot Campaign fund raiser on August 20. The event starts at 7:00 pm.

     Now on to this past Thursday's Concert For The Cause Event which featured Hutchinson's own Soapbox Troubadors. The event was a benefit for the Omega Project. This is a religious group working to affect change within the heart.

     The Troubies were in fine form on this evening, even without several of their band members, which created unique challenges for the group with regard to arrangements. They still sounded great. They sang a variety of original songs; everything from The Road to The Hollar. The group also covered a few covers including Watch Over You by Alter Bridge. I loved their version of this song. They finished their set with the haunting Home which always brings a tear to the eyes of the audience.

     At the intermission, Brandon, a graduate and now a leader within The Omega Project, performed three original rap songs set to music expressing his love of Jesus Christ. They were inspirational songs.

     Concert For The Cause events are known for unusual things happening and tonight was no different. About a half an hour into the event an ultralight with a rainbow sail sailed over the event, he circled over the event throughout the evening until it neared dark and then he flew away. I was so curious to know if he could hear the music or not and just what could he see from up in the air. Did we look like ants to him? The ant myth seems to be a popular concept.

     Concert For The Cause is winding down for the summer in McPherson. If you haven't made it out to an event, there is still time to check out the music, the crowds, the sno cones, and popcorn. On August 11 Cody Marceau will perform in a benefit for The McPherson Dog Park. On August 18 Chris Arpad returns from California to perform at what has become an annual event for him, if you missed him last year, you've got to check him out this year. The crowd was incredible and he has a sound that is not heard in this part of the country. You'll swear you've gone to the islands when you hear him. His concert will benefit McPherson College. Last but not least, Hell Creek Bridge will end the season on a high note with a street dance to benefit MDA.


Thursday, August 4, 2016


    This past Saturday night Concert For The Cause held a benefit for The Hutchinson Street Cat Society at The Flag Theatre. For those of you who didn't attend, you missed one of the greatest shows that Concert For A Cause has ever had.

     Bob Colladay opened the show. He's always great and such an entertainer. Sporting a shirt featuring a kazoo and the words: "I'm With The Band" he entertained the crowd with an hour's worth of tunes. There was the one he wrote with Bob Dylan, or maybe that was a dream he had, Monkey On A String. Once I heard it, I knew it was vintage Dylan, or not really. There was the new classic from Steve Martin's movie The Jerk, Tonight You Belong To Me. Colladay entertained the crowd with some lines from the show, although these have not been fact checked and could have just been something he made up. In any event, they were good lines. Colladay ended his portion of the show with a sing along to his hit, Outhouse. He accompanied himself on the ukulele. He ended his show by telling the crowd:  I was wonderful and you had a great time!

     Then Frequent Seas took to the stage. Shame on you if you missed this show. This band was polished, professional, fun, talented, and amazing! They played a variety of different types of music that ranged from jazz, Motown: Inner City Blues/Make Me Wanna Holler made popular by Marvin Gaye, blues, 80's rock: When You're Talking In Your Sleep by The Romantics as well as a jazzy version of I Didn't Mean to Turn You On. This group will play again this next Friday in the 500 block of South Main between Tyson and the barbershop. The show starts at 7:00 pm, make sure you're there. This band is unlike anything you've ever heard before.

     At the end of the evening Bob Colladay joined Frequent Seas on stage for a Brian Setzer style rendition of Stray Cat Strut. The perfect end to a perfect concert.