Videos from 2012 Event

by Sound Off for Vets

Video of the 2012 Sound Off for Vets concert on May 19th was captured by Tim Dyer of DyersWorld.com, who provided his excellent services free of charge for the event. Below we’ve embedded one video from each of the four performing artists with links to more HD videos at Vimeo.com.


Chris Nelson

“Uh-Oh” at Vimeo

More by Chris Nelson
All Alone
Go It Alone

Michael Anthony Smith and the Dirty Thieving Gypsies

“Innocent Bystander” at Vimeo

More by Michael Anthony Smith and the Dirty Thieving Gypsies
Please Come Home

Rhyne McCormick

“Secret” at Vimeo

More by Rhyne McCormick
Soul Bus
Ice Cream Man
Walking In Memphis

Shift Seven featuring Meeka

“Shared Lives” at Vimeo

More by Shift Seven
Land of Giants
Black Cloud


Thanks To All!

by Chris Nelson

Hello, everybody!

First, I wanted to say thank you for all of your support with this year’s event. All of you through your help and support made it possible to raise $900 from this year’s event before expenses. I will be sending a check to the Wounded Warrior Project very soon.

I’d also like to share my thoughts on how things went during this year’s event.

We had a great show and had terrific performances by the bands and musicians. Videos of some of these performances should be coming out very soon. I’m told the quality is excellent this year, so I expect to see a few of these on the artist pages sometime in the future. We’ll also have links to these videos from our Facebook page, as well. A big thanks goes out to Tim Dyer of Dyer’s World Video and Chris Hicks and the rest of the crew of Voyager Music. It was like being at a rock concert. I’d also like to say thank you to Dale’s Drum Shop for furnishing us with a drum kit for the bands to use. Tim has already told me how impressed he is with this year’s video sound quality.

I’d like to again thank all of our perfromers this year for what I think was the best show in our three-year history. These folks came out and played free of charge in order to help us get the word out about our wounded service men and women. When you have the time, I urge all of you to go visit the musicians’ web sites and listen to their music. You won’t be disappointed! Links to all their web sites can be found here.

This year, we were able to get a lot of press from some of the local radio and TV stations. That helps us get the word out a little more about what we’re doing, and more importantly, why we’re doing it. I will try to find links to some of these items and post them on our Facebook page. A big thanks to Mike Randazzo for arranging all that for us.

We also had posters that helped us get the word out, so I think we left a bigger impression on the community. Thanks to Major Frank Brown and Sergeant Damian Smith for printing those for us. I think it helped a lot.

While we’re on the subject of publicity, I need to recognize Ric Albano and 33 Dimensions for updating and maintaining our web site. He does a fantastic job keeping up with all of that and I thank him for all of his help.

I really appreciate the help of our booth volunteers this year. Anita Lenker and Rebecca Smith worked the entire four-hour event in the booth selling raffle tickets and wristbands. They also helped with the raffle drawings, too! Outstanding job!

I’d also like to mention that L.B. Smith Ford is going to help us with sending out the thank you letters to all of our contributors. Thank you very much for all of your support – they also were a contributor to this year’s event. you can find a complete list of our contributors on our web site.

I saw lots of cameras pointed at the stage, so I hope any of you who were there taking pictures will please post them to our Facebook page. The more pictures we get, the better we can use them for publicity the next time around. if you have trouble, contact me and we’ll figure something out.

Overall, I think we did good with the amount of time we were given, although things got a little chaotic when the helicopers took off five minutes after Shift Seven finished playing! Hopefully, we can coordinate that a little better with the Army next year. With any luck, we won’t have to worry about a baseball game immediately after the Armed Forces Day event so we’ll have more time. There were so many more acts we could’ve booked if we’d had the time.

We’re just about out of wristbands, so we will need to find something else to sell for next year’s event. T-shirts are one possibility, but without an event date like those we had in 2011. That way, we can sell the remaining shirts during a future event and continue raising more money. The down side to this is we’d have to raise an additional amount of money to produce the t-shirts, which is more overhead. Since we sold about 50 in 2011, we can probably get away with ordering 50 next year. I’m open to suggestions, if anyone has any ideas. If anyone wants to contribute t-shirts for next year’s event, I’m OK with that, too!

I’d like to have something people would be motivated to buy on a whim, thus making more money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Possibly another version of the wrist bands would work, too. They seem to be popular.

Tim Dyer suggested we sell a DVD featuring some of the perfromances as a possible way to raise money. I think this has possibilties. I’d like to know what all of you thnk about it. It’ll cost us approximately $185 for 50 DVDs in shrink-wrapped cases through Disc Makers/CD Baby . I wouldn’t suggest ordering any more than that unless we’re sure we can sell them. this number is manageable.

I’d also like to mention that Rhyne McCormick and Shift Seven contributed CDs as part of the fundraising. I think Shift Seven would have sold some of the ones they contributed if the booth hadn’t been taken down during their set. However, Rhyne sold several of his, so this is another option for raising some extra money for the event that I will discuss with the bands next time around.

All in all, this event turned out even better than I expected it to. If you’d like to send me your thoughts, please reply to this message. If you prefer, you can post your comments on our Facebook page for open discussion.

I can’t say it enough, I really appreciate all of your help and support making this event into what it’s become: a fundraising concert to help out our Wounded Warriors! See you next year!

Chris Nelson


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

2012 Contributors

by Sound Off for Vets

Below is the current list of items and services which have been donated to the 2012 Sound Off Event on Saturday, May 19th at City Island, Harrisburg, PA.

Last updated 05/12/12

Item Donor Further Information
$200 Cash Donation United Water Harrisburg UnitedWater.org
$200 Cash Donation VFW Post 882, Marysville
$100 Cash Donation Hoffman Ford HoffmanFord.com
T-Shirt and $50 Cash Donation Creter’s Guitar Shop CreterGuitarShop.com
$50 Cash Donation Fredricksburg Eagle Hotel FredericksburgEagleHotel.com
2 $50 Gift Cards Ultimate Wash & Lube UltimatePA.com
8 Box Seat Vouchers Harrisburg Senators SenatorsBaseball.com
4 Museum Tickets Antique Auto Museum AACAMuseum.org
2 “Epic Buffet” Coupons Hollywood Casino HollywoodPNRC.com
1 LB Homemade Chocolate Wertz’s Candies WertzCandy.com
25 ‘Moe’ Bucks Moe’s Southwestern Grill Moes.com
$25 Gift Card Bass Pro Shops Harrisburg BassPro.com
“Growler” Decanter Appalachian Brewing Company ABCBrew.com
4 Free Games of Golf City Island Water Golf H2OGolf.com
Custom Gift Baskets Colleen Washinger
Videography Service Dyer’s World Video DyersWorld.com
Professional Sound Voyager Music VoyagerMusic.net
Drum Set for Performance Dale’s Drum Shop DalesDrumShop.com
Advertising Space Pennsylvania Musician Magazine PAMusician.net
Website Design & Maintenance 33 Dimensions LLC 33Dimensions.com

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

Sound Off 2012 Concert Lineup Has Strong Military Connections

The performers for this year’s Sound Off for Vets concert, scheduled for May 19, 2012 on City Island, all possess strong ties to U.S. Military service. The show is an effort to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The performers for the show are:

Although three of the performers have played this event before, newcomer Rhyne McCormick is particularly excited to be a part of this year’s show. McCormick served in the U.S. Air Force from 1987 to 1996 before launching his successful career as a performer and recording artist.

“[I] absolutely [want to do this show],” McCormick said recently, “I’m a vet.”

The events organizer, Chris Nelson, is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served from 1983 until 2004.

“After serving in the military,” Nelson explains, “I wanted to give something back using my music. This is a way that I can do that while doing something I feel really proud of.”

The band Shift Seven played the first two Sound Off concerts in June 2010 and May 2011, and Michael Anthony Smith and the Dirty, Thieving Gypsies played last year. Both of these bands have relatives serving in the military.

There are only four acts this year due to a Harrisburg Senators baseball game scheduled for later that day. The event will take place during the 11th Annual Armed Forces Day Celebration and will be located at the base of the stairs leading towards the ball field.

The 11th annual Armed Forces Day–the ultimate extreme military makeover–will once again return, RAIN OR SHINE, to the shores of Harrisburg’s City Island on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Armed Forces Day 2011 is a FREE, FUN-FILLED, FAMILY event that transforms City Island into a bustling military base for one day. In addition to great food, this year’s event will feature over 100 displays and equipment from all services and service-related groups including aviation, artillery, construction, employment information and recruiting booths, veterans’ resources, living history demonstrations and a wide variety of family and children’s activities and fitness challenges.

This year also marks the first time that there will be an MC, Mike Randazzo who will keep things going in between performances and conduct the prize drawings. Once again, Voyager Music will be providing the audio support and PA System for the event and Dale’s Drum Shop is providing a drum set for the bands to use during the concert.

Although operations appear to be winding down overseas, our wounded military veterans still need help and support to deal with their disabilities. In some cases, it may be a life-long struggle.

“As if they aren’t suffering enough already, many of America’s wounded heroes feel like they are being forgotten. But the injured warriors you have helped through WWP know they have not been forgotten — and they’re full of gratitude.”

With injury reports from Afghanistan no longer prominent in the news, wounded service members feel like they are ‘out of sight, out of mind,” Steven Nardizzi, the Executive Director for the WWP commented in a recent message to fundraisers.

The show is raising money for the WWP in a number of ways. There will be a ‘tip jar’ where audience members can contribute whatever amount they wish, wrist bands which can be purchased, and raffle tickets for a large selection of prizes contributed by local community businesses and individuals. Last year, Sound Off conduced two concert events and raised over $1000 for the Wounded Warrior Project. This year’s fundraising goal is to raise $1000 during this one event.

Nelson is confident that they will reach this goal.


May 19th Sound Off Concert

by Sound Off for Vets

Preparations have begun, setting the stage for the 2012 Sound Off for Vets concert which will be held on May 19th at City Island in Harrisburg, PA. The show, which will run from Noon to 4 pm, will once again raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and also hopes to elevate the importance of supporting these combat-wounded men and women in the face of these conflicts in the Middle East coming to an end.

This year, Sound Off is providing the musical entertainment for the annual Armed Forces Day celebration. This means the performers will be using the main stage and hope to gain a larger audience. This also means that they will be performing in the parking lot area instead of by the riverfront, as they had done in years past.

One significant change this year is the length of the concert. In years past, the shows have been able to feature a multitude of musical acts. This year, due to a previously scheduled Harrisburg Senators baseball game, the show must end at 4 pm this year in order to accommodate the ball game.

Sound Off has been able to raise over $1,500 for the Wounded Warrior Project since it began holding these concerts in 2010. This year, the goal is to raise $1000 during this one event.