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Get Down at the Throwdown

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Dec. 19, 2013 | Modified: Dec. 21, 2013
Get Down at the Throwdown

Soul Benefactor hosts the second annual High Country Holiday Throwdown Friday, Dec. 20.
Photos submitted

A star-studded cast of area musicians will let its collective hair down and rock out to benefit a fellow rocker during the third annual High Country Holiday Throwdown.

The soulful and grooving music of some of Boone’s most talented musicians will pump up the amps at Boone Saloon on Friday, Dec. 20, beginning at 9 p.m.

A suggested donation of $10 will be gratefully accepted to help cover medical costs for Barry Chappell, who is currently battling cancer.

“We’ve done holiday shows like this off and on for a pretty good while, probably about six or seven years,” said organizer Dave Brewer, who primarily plays in Soul Benefactor and Possum Jenkins, but will also perform with other acts sharing the stage Friday. “We’ve settled into bit of a routine at Boone Saloon.”

Every year, Brewer picks a different charity to benefit from the concert, which also offers a chance for the local, closely knit music community to come together for a public jam session and party.

“My main concern this year is benefitting friend and musician Barry Chappell,” Brewer said. “He’s been fighting a long bout with cancer, and we are trying to lend a hand. Barry, with any luck, will be performing on percussion at various points throughout the evening.”

Although Brewer typically chooses a handful of charities for each benefit, he decided Chappell’s medical costs to be daunting enough to deserve the show’s full support.

“We just want to give it all to Barry,” Brewer said. “The need is great. He’s also been a great friend, especially to Soul Benefactor. He’s helped us get some gigs over the years.”

The Throwdown is one of two benefits Brewer organizes every year, with a similar show commanding the limelight during Independence Day.

In addition to the headlining acts, Friday’s benefit will also feature outlaw country group George Jonestown Massacre and funk rock act The Do-Right Band, with special performances by the Junaluska Gospel Choir, Bafoodus and The Worthless Son-in Laws.

Aaron Burleson, who has helped Brewer organize the event for several years, said he enjoys the eclectic, friendly and almost family-like atmosphere the show generates.

“I enjoy these times when we mix and match bands, musicians, and everyone gets together to have a low-pressure good time,” Burleson said. “Dave (Brewer) and I play together in Soul Benefactor and the Junaluska Choir.”

With a loose format, Burleson said there is no telling how the evening might play out and is, at least, worth a shot if you enjoy good music and lively performers.

“It’s not much of a plan, so anything can happen,” Burleson joked. “This is for charity. If it’s good, you will have fun. If it’s not good, you’ll still have fun.”

Although they love to help the community out of a sense of civic duty, Brewer admitted the participating musicians see the benefit also as a way to catch up.

“It’s not that we don’t want people to come and support good causes, but we spend all year playing shows in various bands, and this is a chance for some of the High Country’s best musicians to let their hair down and collaborate with one another and have a good time,” he said.

Boone Saloon is located at 489 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, call (828) 264-1811.

Additional Images

Soul Benefactor hosts the second annual High Country Holiday Throwdown Friday, Dec. 20.
Photos submitted

Soul Benefactor features, from left, Dave Brewer, Steve Greene, Beaver Robinette, Chris Hice, Rusty Smith and Aaron Burleson.

Jazz rock favorite Bafoodus returns for this year's Holiday Throwdown.

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