Veteran’s Day 11-11-11 Event

Chris Nelson Interview with The Peverett Phile

 
Recently, Sound Off for Vets organizer was interviewed by the blog Peverett Phile about this concert series.

Peverett Phile: Hello, Chris, welcome back to the Phile. So, how have you been?

Chris Nelson: I’ve been recovering from the flu, but other than that, I’m okay.

PPh: Since you were here I have had Tish Meeks from 3 Kisses back on the Phile. She’s the one who introduced me to you. Have you heard from her recently?

CN: I’ve followed her postings on Facebook, but I haven’t really communicated with her much. She moved up to Alaska, but I think she wants to move back. I understand she’s working on a new band or project or something. I’ll have to go read the interview on the Phile.

PPh: You’re based in Pennsylvania, right? My wife is from the Mechanicsburg area. What part of Pennsylvania are you from?

CN: Lebanon, which is about 30 miles to the east of Mechanicsburg.

PPh: Do you still live there, Chris?

CN: This will be my home for quite a while, I’m sure.

PPh: Last time you were here you were plugging your The Invisible Man CD. Have you been working on any new music?

CN: I’ve been doing a lot of writing and I have enough material for a new album, but it may be a while until I record anything. I’m currently working on putting together a complilation of recordings that I made from 1986 to 2005. I’ve gone back into the archives and have been remixing, retooling, and in some cases, re-recording portions of these tracks for the release. I’m about three fourths of the way through it. It will be called Fish Stories: 1986-2005 and I hope to have it done around the end of the year. I’d also like to mention that “In Praise Of Failure”, a song from The Invisible Man was recognized as one of the top five songs of 2011 by DAMES of PA.

PPh: Nice, well done. Okay, let’s talk about Sound Off For Vets. For those that don’t know, explain what that is.

CN: Sound Off for Vets is a free benefit concert put on by local musicians in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. We sell raffle tickets on prizes that have been contributed by community members, clubs, and businesses and we also have some items that sell to raise additional money. There’s a ‘tip jar’ that we have placed near the stage area and two more that are located around the concert site where people can put in whatever they want to. Basically, it’s an outdoor party to entice people into making a contribution while giving them something to listen to.

PPh: The last benefit Sound Off For Vets was on Nov, 11th, 2011. How much did you raise, Chris?

CN: About $1,111 before expenses were paid.

PPh: That’s a helluva coincidence. You must’ve been surprised and slightly suspicious that was the amount you arranged. Am I right?

CN: Well, that whole event was a surprise. My friend Ric Albano… who has a thing about numbers… knew the guy who owns Champions Sports Bar and Grill in Highspire, where the event was held. The idea was to do something special for Veterans’ Day. I was supposed to play, but I had to back out at the last minute. They drew quite a crowd, from what I heard. They also got a lot of clothing donations to go to the YWCA’s homeless veterans program. I’d say it was a huge success, overall.

PPh: What exactly is the Wounded Warriors Project, Chris?

CN: WWP assists those combat-wounded veterans from the recent conflicts to deal with their disabilities. Sometimes its helping with overcoming physical disability, other times it’s mental health counseling for deailing with the stress of living in a combat environment, some need assistance with job training and placement. There’s a lot of services that they provide our wounded veterans. They have a complex near Jacksonville, Florida where they do most of their training and counseling.

PPh: How did you come to be a part of all this? You founded Sound Off For Vets, right?

CN: Yes. It all started when I was sent to cover a military funeral of an Army Lieutenant out of the Scranton area when I worked for the Pennsylvania Office of Veterans Affairs. He was a victim of a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. As I spoke with those who know him, I found out that he had been a musician and also played all the instruments on his records, although he perferred jazz. The point was, this could have been me a few years ago when I was still in the service. I had wanted to do something to give back to the military ever since I retired, but I didn’t know what I could do. After the funeral experience, I really felt motivated to do something and started to explore different options. A friend of mine from Pittsburgh began organizing his “Pennsylvania Hero Walk” where a group of people walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh over the course of a few months to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. I’ve always wanted to do something like this with my music, since it’s something I’m quite passionate about. I decided to make Sound Off an extension of the PA Hero Walk in 2010 and planned to hold it during the week when they were passing through Harrisburg. We held it on the deck of the Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat overlooking the shore. We drew a pretty good size crowd for a Thursday. The following year, we decided to hold it during Armed Forces Day, since it sort of fit with that theme. We raised close to $500 that day.

PPh: Were you in the military at all?

CN: Yes, I was in the U.S. Air Force from 1983 to 2004 and retired as an E-7 after 21 years.

PPh: So, how is this years event different from the last one, Chris?

CN: It’s a little shorter since we have to clear out for the Harrisburg Senators baseball game scheduled for later that evening. Everything will have to be done by 4 pm to give time for the Army helicopters to take off. We will, however, be occupying the main stage, so we will be able to get more people’s attention that way. This year, we’re located in the center of all the activity. In years past, we were near the riverfront area. People didn’t always know about us since the acoustics there swallow up the sound.

PPh: Will it be at the same place?

CN: Yes, on City Island in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

PPh: So, why do another one so soon after the last event?

CN: The actual Sound Off for Vets happens every Spring. The first one was June 2010 and last year, we did it in May of 2011. The November event, Sound Off for Veterans Day was a special event for the year. Ric was intrigued by the 11.11.11 date and wanted to do something special. I haven’t heard from him about if there will be another one for this Veterans Day.

PPh: Hey, maybe one year you can have Foghat play there… or not. LOL. How often are you gonna be doing these benefits, Chris?

CN: Is Foghat still around?

PPh: Yeah, believe it or not.

CN: I am trying to make this a recognized annual event that will be associated with the city of Harrisburg. Even after all our troops are back home from overseas, many of them are going to be needing assistance with their injuries for years to come… in some cases, for the rest of their lives. We can’t forget the sacrifices these people have made. I’m glad we have organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project to help.

PPh: Who are some of the bands and acts who will be performing there this year with you this time? If any of them would like to be on the Phile, please let me know. I’d love to have them.

CN: I’ll pass along your information to them. We currently have Rhyne McCormick, Shift Seven, and Michael Anthony Smith and the Dirty, Thieving Gypsies… and me. Mike Smith and Shift Seven have played here before; in fact, Shift Seven was one of the bands in the first show. This year, all the acts have strong military connections. Rhyne McCormick and myself are both U.S. Air Force veterans and both Michael Anthony Smith and Shift Seven have relatives in the military.

PPh: Chris, so, what’s next for you?

CN: Besides working on the retrospective album I mentioned earlier, I’m also going to be publishing my first science fiction novel on Amazon in a few weeks. I also plan to start recording, but I’m not sure when that will happen yet.

PPh: Thanks for taking time out to do this interview. I know you must be busy getting everything organized, sir. Please come back soon when you are gonna do the next one, or your next album. Where can they purchase your music?

CN: Go to my website chrisnelsonband.com and click on ‘CDs.” That will take you to the CD Baby page. They’re also available through Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, and a whole bunch of other online distributors.

PPhh: All the best, good luck and maybe you can raise $5,1912. That would be way too weird, right?

CN: Weird, but in a cool sort of way! Our goal for this year is to raise $1000. If we exceed that, I will be very, very happy!

PPh: Take care and good job.

CN: Thanks for having me on your blog!

~
Published 04/29/12 at http://thepeverettphile.blogspot.com

Benefit Brings In $1111.00

by Ric Albano

Sound Off for Veteran's Day Logo

We had an incredible time on Friday, November 11th at Champion’s in Highspire for the Wounded Warrior Benefit Concert. Absolutely everyone involved was pleasant, upbeat, and helpful and the show could not have gone smoother.

When my wife Karyn and I tallied up the all the donations including the door cover, raffle, cash contributions, CD sales by participating musicians, and business and online monetary donations we found that this single event had brought in $1,103. Well, we instantly shook the sofa to scrape up an additional eight bucks to bring that total to $1,111, which fits perfectly with the unique date of this event. We did have some expenses which worked out to be about 27% of this gross amount, still leaving a healthy amount to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project through the Sound Off for Vets charity. Beyond this, about 6 bags of clothes were donated for the YWCA Homeless Vets Clothing Drive.

This event could not have been a success without the incredible time and effort of so many people, who I’d like to thank here.


First and foremost, thank you to all the Veterans past and present who do more for us as American citizens than any other group.


Thanks to the musical artists who all put on incredible and entertaining performances:

Mycenea Worley

The Group “Meeka” – Romeeka Gayhart, Terry Gayhart, Drew Washington, Wyatt Latimer, and the keyboard player whose name we did not get (sorry, but thank you)

Carmen Magro’s Band – Carmen Magro, Chuck Scarpello, Mark Burkert, Rob DiSimone, Dave Murphy, and Steve Sauer

Hot Wing Jones – Steve Montressor, Andy Shemeta, Anthony Pepoli, and Corey Woodcock

I ‘d like to add a special thanks to the guys in Hot Wing Jones, who were the first to arrive, the last to leave, and donated equipment for all the artists to use.

Also, thanks to DJ Kai who provided incredible video during the musical performances as well as entertainment between sets.


Thank you to those who offered support for the event:

Chris Hicks, sound man from Voyager Music

Tim Dyer, videographer who shot about 5 hours of footage and enlisted our event in the international One Day on Earth program so we will be seen all over the world

Chris Nelson, founder of Sound Off for Vets who elicited donations for our raffle

Karyn Albano, my lovely wife who organized and operated the raffle

Rebecca Smith-Witmer, volunteer who helped at the door


Thank you to all the people and businesses that donated merchandise, gift certificates, advertising, and/or money to the cause:

Champions Sports Bar
United Water
Fredricksburg Eagle Hotel
Antique Auto Museum
Civil War Museum
Farmer’s Hope Inn
Hollywood Casino
The Porch Restaurant
Adventure Sports
LB Smith Ford-Lincoln
Ultimate Lube and Wash
Classic Rock Review
DAMES of PA
Susquehanna Entertainment
Jim Hammond
Deborah Delgado
Kathi Guliano

Plus, there were many more good people who made anonymous cash donations at the event.


Thanks to everyone at Champion’s who were incredibly helpful and pleasant through this whole process starting with Jason Naugle and Virginia Taylor (whose birthday was also on 11/11) and all the servers, staff, and security personnel.


Last but not least, thank you to everyone who showed up last night, added to the celebratory atmosphere, and were very generous in donating to our cause.

If you were unable to make this event but would like to make a donation, you can still do so by pressing either of the “Donate” buttons on top or to the left of this page.

Ric Albano
Organizer, Sound Off for Veteran’s Day

Lineup Set for Veteran’s Day Show

by Sound Off for Vets

The lineup of artists for the Sound Off for Veteran’s Day benefit has been set. The show will take place at Champion’s Sports Bar in Highspire, PA on Friday, November 11th.

Mycenea Worley
 9:00 pm Mycenea Worley
Harrisburg, PA
Artist Profile

Meeka
 9:45 pm Meeka
Lebanon, PA
Artist Profile

Carmen Magro
10:45 pm Carmen Magro
Philadelphia, PA
Artist Profile

HotWingJones
12:00 am Hot Wing Jones
Harrisburg, PA
Artist Profile

List of Donated Items

Raffle Contributions

Below is the current list of items which were raffled off at the Sound Off for Veteran’s Day benefit on Friday, Novemeber 11th. The event was held at Champion’s Sports Bar in Highspire, PA.

Last updated 11/12/11

Item Donor Further Information
American Flag Stool Deborah Delgado  
4 Museum Tickets Antique Auto Museum www.aacamuseum.org
2 Buffet Coupons Hollywood Casino www.hollywoodpnrc.com
$25 Gift Certificate The Porch Restaurant www.porchrestaurant.com
Die-Cast Ford Truck Model L.B. Smith Ford & Mercury www.lbsmithford.com
2 Gift Cards Ultimate Lube and Wash www.ultimatepa.com
$25 Gift Certificate Farmer’s Hope Inn www.farmershopeinn.com
2 Sets of Event Tickets Adventure Sports in Hershey www.adventurehershey.com
Family Pass Civil War Museum www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org
Yamaha Keyboard Classic Rock Review www.classicrockreview.com
Tequila Package DAMES of PA www.damesofpa.com

If you’d care to make a contribution, please contact Chris Nelson nelsoncl36@hotmail.com.

Monetary Donations

Amount Donor Further Information
 $ 100 United Water www.unitedwater.com
 $ 100 Champions Sports Bar championssportsbar.net
  $ 50 Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel www.fredericksburgeaglehotel.com
  $ 20 Carmen Magro www.carmenmagro.com
  $ 10 Hot Wing Jones  
   $ 5 Kathi Guliano  

One Day On Earth, 11.11.11

On Day On Earth, 11/11/11
Tim Dyer, the videographer for Sound Off for Veteran’s Day, will be sharing footage from the event with One Day On Earth.

On November 11th, 11.11.11, across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and other inspired citizens will record the human experience over a 24-hour period and contribute their voice to this second annual global day of media creation. One Day on Earth‘s first media creation event occurred on 10.10.10. The collaboration was the first ever simultaneous filming event occuring in every country of the world. It created a unique geo-tagged video archive as well as an upcoming feature film.

Meeka

Romeeka GayhartThe band Meeka consists of singer/songwriters Romeeka Gayhart and Terry Gayhart. This daughter/father duo have been writing and performing since Romeeka’s childhood days. She makes quite an impact with her unique presence,voice and lyric content. The collaboration between the two guarantees an eclectic mix of styles.

Filling out the rhythm section are Wyatt Latimer on drums and Drew Washington on bass. The band is honored to donate a performance to the Sound Off for Veteran’s Day cause. Terry is a member of the original rock outfit Shift Seven who have performed for this Wounded Warrior Project for the last two years. This year it wasn’t possible so “Meeka” was asked to step in.

Mycenea Worley

Mycenea Worley
Mycenea Worley is a singer/songwriter who regularly plays clubs, festivals, and benefits throughout central Pennsylvania. Her performances usually feature a nice blend of original songs, popular covers, and covers done with her unique arrangement, and always feature her enthusiastic smile, friendly demeanor, and outgoing personality.

She sings from the depths of her heart and soul and the music itself slightly deviates from her upbeat and outgoing persona. It heartfelt with a bit of a bent towards the folk rock edge. Mycenea released her debut, five-song EP titled Love in 2009, an enjoyable showcase of Mycenea’s songwriting talent and range. Material for a follow-up album is currently being recorded and should be out in the coming year.

In 2009 and 2010, Mycenea Worley was voted “Best Female Vocalist” at the 717 Music Awards, a testament to her brilliant talent. Further, Mycenea has donated her talents to each of the City Island Sound Off events and we look forward to her performance at Sound Off for Veteran’s Day.

   

Modern Rock Review Profile of Mycenea

Hot Wing Jones

Hot Wing Jones
Hot Wing Jones has been described as a garage band for adults. While this may accurately describe this band’s public persona, it doesn’t aptly describe this band’s dedication to their musical pursuits. If one listens to their latest album Tanker A & Other Short Stories or attends one of their live performances, one is left with little doubt that this is a serious group of serious musicians.

The members of the band each have a talent for making it look effortless during their live shows and are not afraid to take chances, flirting with different styles and directions. They are definately built on a solid foundation classic rock and roll but at different times they can lean heavily towards country, jazz, or funk, making a Hot Wing Jones show an interesting and tremendously entertaining time.

Band Members
Andy Shemeta – Bass Guitar and Lead Vocals
Anthony Pepoli – Lead Guitars
Corey Woodcook – Pedal Steel, Guitar, Vocals
Talbert Ford – Rhythm Guitars
Rocco Beckenhelm – Drums, Percussion, Vocals

   

Modern Rock Review Profile of Hot Wing Jones

Carmen Magro

Carmen Magro
Philadelphia area performer Carmen Magro has graciously let us use his song “America” as our official theme song. Magro and his band had performed live at this past May’s Sound Off 2 on City Island and they will be performing again at Sound Off for Veteran’s Day on November 11th at Champion’s Sports Bar in Highspire.

Carmen played many instruments as a child never being formally trained. His mother gave him a drum set for his 14th birthday and he was on his way to stage performances. After losing his father when he was ten, the passing of his mother when he was 19 really hit him hard and influenced the rest of his life. Remembering his mother’s influence to do so, he began writing music at the piano and has not stopped since. He continues to learn, multiply instruments, and shares the stage on piano and guitar as he fronts his band singing his original music. His band is loyal and committed to Carmen and his music as they never ask for anything and go anywhere with him. Currently, they are a 7-piece band including guitars, drums, keys and piano, saxophone and a multitude of hand instruments that come alive on stage.

Carmen’s Supporting Band:
Chuck Scarpello – Bass Guitar
Mark Burkert – Guitar
Rob DeSimone – Guitar
Dave Murphy – Drums
Steve Sauer – Keys / Synth / Supporting Vocals

Only recently did Carmen begin studio recording after finding a veteran producer, Arty Skye in New York City. This resulted in Carmen’s debut EP titled Come Alive which he self-published in hopes of opening some doors to get his music and band exposure and opportunities to share his music with the world. Carmen distributes his music under his own label “Carmen Rose Records” named after his father and mother who he thanks for leaving him with a humble nature he never ignores or takes for granted. The EP includes the songs “Come Alive”, “Take Me Back”, “Looking at Me”, “Our World”, “Christmas to Me”, and “America”, which was shot as a video, produced and directed by Anthony Werhun with 23rd Letter Films. Several of the songs are now being aired on internet radio stations in the US and England.

Carmen’s Website

Sound Off for Veteran’s Day

UPDATE: The earlier, dinner portion of the show has been cancelled as of 10/27/11. The latter part of the show is still on starting at 9pm!

We will be holding a special, off season benefit concert this Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11th (11-11-11). The show will be held at Champions Sports Bar in Highspire, PA and will feature an excellent lineup of bands and acoustic performers.
Tickets for this event are now available and can be purchased on this site for a limited time or by contacting Ric Albano, the event’s organizer.

The event will feature a complimentary buffet for ticket holders starting at 5 pm until 8 pm. Acoustic musicians will perform for the guests during the dinner. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). This non-profit organization assists combat-injured service members in re-integrating with their families, their jobs, and is some cases, provides vocational rehabilitation for those unable to perform jobs with their injuries.

In addition to raising money for the WWP, people are being asked to donate clothing items for use in the Harrisburg YWCA’s Homeless Veterans Program. Items the program needs are winter coats, shoes, pants, and shirts. Men’s and women’s sizes in any of these items are needed.

There are several ways that you can participate in or donate to this benefit:

  1. Stop by Champions and Enjoy the Show. The latter portion of the benefit is open to the public after 9:00pm for a $5 cover charge.
  2. Make an Online Donation. Simply click on the black “Make a Donation” box on the top right of this page and you can donate in honor of a veteran you know and love.
  3. Donate an Item. If you have an item of value which you’d like to donate for our raffle, please contact Chris Nelson via email nelsoncl36@hotmail.com in the very near future. Your donation may be tax deductible.
  4. Spread the Word!. If you think this is a worthwhile and valuable cause, please help out by telling everyone you know. We don’t have a tremendous advertising budget, so word-of-mouth is the most effective way to let people know what we are doing.

~