FUR benefit March 20 at BearWaters Brewing
It's spring and another creature of habit is making its yearly appearance — the volunteer, ready to harvest the early fruits of fundraising.
That's why two singing songwriters, Leah Henson Milan and Jonathan Martin, and a couple of great bands, The Alarm Clock Conspiracy from Asheville and locals 'Round the Fire, have come together to put on a benefit for F.U.R., also known as Feline Urgent Rescue.
F.U.R. is a new and local nonprofit agency that collects and adopts out cats as well as funding for spaying and neutering domesticated cats.
"We have all come together to ask your assistance in our goal to safely curb the stray and feral cat and ultimately stray animal population," Martin said. "F.U.R. provides a no-kill shelter for these felines until they can be adopted out."
The first act on stage will be Leah Henson Milan, a Haywood County "original" hailing from Bethel. Milan regularly plays with her husband Brandon Travis Milan, her brother Adam Henson and a variety of interchangeable drumming friends in a band called His & Her's. Her strongest influences have been Johny Cash, Emmy Lou Harris and many of the "greats," as she so fondly refers to them.
When asked what she would do if she became famous tomorrow, she replied, "I would continue teaching and inspiring others to love music, especially young children, through my studio in Clyde, Heartstrings Music Studio." She said she also would adopt more children and spend more time writing and playing music for good, hard working people."
First full band up is The Alarm Clock Conspiracy, coming all the way over from Asheville to help out. They are Ian Reardon (vocals/guitar), Chris Carter (vocals/guitar),Wes Jameson (bass), James Hurlston (drums), and newest addition John McKinney on keyboard.
Reardon and Carter started playing as an acoustic duo about 14 years ago. Jameson and Hurlston joined up about four years ago, and McKinney rounded out the five-piece last summer. Their collective influences include The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Foo Fighters, Wilco, Tom Petty, Neil Young and more.
"If we start selling albums now, we will most likely put the money back into the band, as we always have," said Reardon. "This is a labor of love, and we love to labor over something we hold so close to our hearts."
The second band up is locally well-known act 'Round the Fire, consisting of Chris Minick (acoustic and electric guitars/ vocals), Craig Summers (keyboard, mandolin, guitar, and vocals), Greg Kidd (bass), and Lee Kram on drums and percussion. All of these fellows live here in Haywood County, but none are originally from here.
The Grateful Dead is their greatest influence collectively, which encompasses much more than any source or style. They bring elements of folk rock, reggae, swing, funk, and more.
Hosting the event and starting with the second set will be Jonathan Martin.
"I like to mix up my style with rock and all of its rootsy cousins, blending bits of reggae, alternative, southern rock, and country into my style," he said. "Songwriting is my favorite part of this absorbing labor, having written over four hundred songs in the five or six years since I started. Playing for charities comes in at a close second."
Together, these artists will be rocking out beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20 at BearWaters Brewing Company. Tickets cost $20. Haywood Smokehouse B-B-Q will be catering, and a $20 ticket gets you one Bear Waters' brew, and a small plate.
The other $10 goes to support F.U.R., but any donations will be accepted. There will be drink alternatives for those who do not wish to consume alcohol.This is a family-friendly atmosphere, so come one, come all.