By Bailey Faulkner
For many, a daylong, 13-act concert is all it takes to wipe the calendar clean for a Saturday afternoon and evening. Luckily for music lovers of the High Country, The Local’s Saturday, July 22 show will be much more than that. Boone native and musician Brian Russell Collins will host his yearly charity event A Cause to Rock at the downtown Boone venue to help raise money for Winston-Salem’s Darryl Gaines, a North Forsyth High School student-athlete and recent graduate diagnosed with stage III lymphoma.
Collins founded A Cause to Rock in 2015, focusing the first annual event on raising money for Wilmington community members with autism and their families. Last year, Collins — also a Nashville-based studio drummer — organized the event to raise money for a venue in Music City. This year, Collins will continue to mix his love for music and his desire to give back to the community with Saturday’s charity event.
“Organizing a nonprofit that raises money with music is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Collins said.
Now with two years of organizing charity shows under his belt, Collins can hardly contain himself in anticipation of this year’s especially-meaningful event. Collins first learned about Gaines in a conversation with a local bartender who knew the student-athlete through Boone Docks MMA. Collins wasted no time speaking with Gaines and some of his coaches.
“When I got the chance to talk to Darryl, I thought ‘you know, this event is something we really need to do,’” Collins recalled.
Collins learned that Gaines, who was diagnosed just before graduating as a North Forsyth senior, and his family needed to take weekly trips to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis to receive treatment for his lymphoma. A cancer survivor himself, Collins knows that any financial assistance can go a long way.
“Having to go from Winston-Salem to Memphis each week starts to be costly,” Collins said. “A Cause to Rock is all about giving back and helping out, and that’s why I want to do it.”
While the first two editions of A Cause to Rock featured 20 bands over a two-day stretch, Collins has decided to scale back this year’s event to a 13-outfit lineup set from noon to 2 a.m. at The Local on Saturday. But don’t let that slightly smaller roster fool you — A Cause to Rock 2017 is an absolute must see filled exclusively with musicians who will happily donate their time to raising money for Gaines.
Boone sees its fair share of nationally-recognized musical acts, but this show will undoubtedly be one for the books. Groups and solo artists from as far away as Chicago and New York City will donate their talents to the night. Check out the list below and click on the links to get a feel of what the multi-genre encompassing night will be like!
- Nick Britt (Boone, NC)
- Ozone Jones (Boone, NC)
- Shy Shape (New Jersey)
- Ryan Kulp (New York City)
- El Chupacabro (Chicago, IL)
- Vance Fite (Atlanta, GA)
- The Heartless Gentleman (Boone, NC)
- Zach Coffey (Hickory, NC)
- Kyle Sigmon (Boone, NC)
- Lines in The Sky (Nashville, TN)
- Depot Street (Boone, NC)
- Edge Of Reality (Nashville, TN)
- Fire By Night (Boone, NC)
That stellar lineup wouldn’t be a reality without Collins’ years of traveling the country playing music and making connections with some of the nation’s most interesting acts. One of the most interesting of those acts performing on Saturday — and certainly the most bizarre and fun, as Collins said — will be Chicago’s El Chupacabro, the masked and indescribably unique pioneer of music and showmanship that “blends theatrics, face melting guitar licks and spliced audio from pop culture” to create a sound most could never imagine. Check out the Chicagoan’s music here.
Given the event’s extensive all-day lineup, A Cause to Rock will bring together genres that don’t often share the stage on any given day in the High Country.
“It’s a great chance for people to see different types of music from all over the country,” Collins said.
From originals to covers, relaxed vibes to high energy, mellow acoustic playing to soaring electric shredding, A Cause to Rock will have something to offer High Country fans of all musical genres. Although the bands and musicians performing at A Cause to Rock may represent a wide variety of styles and backgrounds, each group has one thing in common: a selfless desire to help out Gaines as much as possible.
“All the bands I’ve reached out to were more than willing to donate their time and help raise money for Darryl and his family. At the end of the day, it is a great cause and a great event. All different kinds of genres are coming here for one day to help someone in need,” Collins reflected.
Entry to the event during the daytime will be free of charge. To do your part in helping a promising young student-athlete during a difficult time, simply indicate the amount you wish to donate while closing out your tab at the bar or restaurant. Throughout the event, you’ll also have a chance to make a financial impact by participating in giveaways and interacting with special guests like Carolina Panthers cheerleader Courtney Dancy and members of the High Country Grizzlies.
After the event transitions to its night lineup, donations will be taken at the door in place of a cover charge. If you would like to make a donation but cannot attend the event, don’t worry. Collins is setting up a Paypal feature for community members to donate electronically. Stay posted on this by visiting the event’s Facebook page here. If you’d like to keep it simple, you can also make a donation over the phone by calling The Local at (828) 266-2179.
While helping out a community member in need is a no-brainer for those in a position to help, Collins is especially grateful for The Local’s willingness to open its doors to make the event a reality.
“I can’t thank The Local enough for letting us tear their place up for 14 hours,” Collins laughed.
July 22 would have been an important day for Collins even without A Cause to Rock taking place; the event just so happens to fall on the Boone musician’s birthday.
“A Cause to Rock is a great birthday present for me. Instead of receiving a present, I’ll be able to give back and give a present to Darryl,” the humble High Country native said.
Gaines will certainly be the central focus of the night, but A Cause to Rock is just another example of Collins living by his mantra: to inspire the uninspired. It’s Collins’ hope that everyone can realize that music can be that force of inspiration to make the world a better and more caring place.
“I do this not only to help people but to inspire people. It just takes one person to inspire the uninspired; that’s why I do stuff like this.”
A Cause to Rock will be held on Saturday, July 22 from noon to 2 a.m. For more information and updates on the event, visit the A Cause to Rock Facebook page here.
The Local is located at 179 Howard Street in downtown Boone.