By Polly Lynn
Sunday, Sept. 7 — RUTLAND – Vermonters for Vermonters will be hosting a benefit concert at the Vermont State Fairgrounds Grandstand from 2-8 p.m.
Vermonters for Vermonters is a volunteer effort organized by citizens committed to raising funds and awareness to help combat the negative effects of drugs and addiction. The group started in response to the growing epidemic of drug abuse in the state, which is affecting citizens in increasing and alarming numbers. In an effort to take action against the epidemic, they organized this benefit concert in the hopes that it will help raise awareness and get other Vermonters involved in the cause.
Joey Leone, one of the featured performers and Vermonters for Vermonters founding member and volunteer, is confident in the power of his local community to make a positive impact in this growing crisis.
“In the past few years Vermonters have shown that, when confronted with problems, whether they be natural or man-made, we will rally to surmount them,” Leone said.
When presented with this idea, Don Chioffi, president of the Vermont State Fair, was supportive. “We are just proud to be a small part of the solution to this problem” said Chioffi.
Vermonters for Vermonters is funded solely through donation. Proceeds from tickets and items sold will go directly to the three beneficiary organizations: Project VISION, Dismas Of Vermont, Inc., and Vermont Recovery Network. Tickets are $15, which includes entrance to the fair on Sunday.
For more information visit www. vermontersforvermonters.com.
Featured on stage
There will be live music by Joey Leone, Bow Thayer, Jeremy Graham, Ashley Buchart, Myk Sno, Tony Lee Thomas, as well as select speakers including Governor Peter Shumlin and those affected by Vermont’s opiate addiction epidemic.
Leone has conjured and perfected music through his 30 plus years onstage. He combines a highly evolved guitar style, with roots deep in blues and classic rock, with a truly original voice. He is also a prolific songwriter with sounds that draw from many styles and influences. Joey Leone commands a stage like very few can. After years of playing in nightclubs to an intensely loyal following, Leone recently recorded his debut album “Dying Breed.”
American Songwriter Magazine says Thayer “is the best artist to come from New England in recent years.” After making a name for himself in Boston with “7 League Boots,” a rock/reggae band that shared the stage with the likes of Fugazi, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Pearl Jam, 15 years ago he made a life-altering decision to leave the city for the Green Mountains of Vermont — lucky us!
The Jeremy Graham Band (JGB) first organized in late 2005 and consists of seven members that include a lead vocalist, steel guitar, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, two lead guitars, drums, and keyboard.
Recently Jeremy Graham signed a recording contract with Dominion Entertainment in Los Angeles. He is working to produce “the single” and they will promote that song across the country in this fall.
Buchart is one of the most raw and compelling artists to rise out of the underground in decades. A staple in the touring community she has performed with the likes of David Allen Coe, Rick Springfield, Gretchen Wilson, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Easton Corbin, King Billy, Ray Price and JB & the Moonshine Band. A classically trained artist in opera (Italian, French, Spanish), musical theater and jazz, Buchart is one of the few artists who built her foundation independently with tremendous talent, and incredible determination. Orginally from Denver, she decided to move to Nashville to focus on writing and recording. Shortly thereafter, in the spring of 2014, she was offered a label deal with Dominion Entertainment. Ashley Buchart is the real deal, a proficient songwriter and performer who is 100% country.
Growing up in Indiana, in a family where music came naturally, he became acquainted with various instruments through a neighbourhood musician and a local band. In addition to being a singer, Myk Sno is a songwriter and producer.
Tony Lee Thomas
Growing up in a musical family, Tony Lee Thomas started singing at a young age. His vocal endeavors have included classical technique, various choral ensembles, even barbershop and doo-wop quartets. Thomas began playing guitar at age seven and double bass at age ten. Concertgoers can expect original music, improvisation and rock covers.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Project VISION, Vermont Recovery Network, and Dismas House. These organizations help those that are directly involved in combating the drug epidemic and providing assistance to Vermonters and their families suffering from drug abuse and addiction.
Project VISION is a diverse coalition of over 100 social and health service agencies and organizations, schools, colleges, businesses, City of Rutland, local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, faith-based groups, volunteers and neighbors working toward the revitalization of Rutland. The group is united to address the drug related challenges facing our community with the goal of making Rutland one of the healthiest, safest and happiest communities in America.
Vermont Recovery Network is a statewide organization that supports the provision of recovery support services for people who have experienced problems resulting from drug and alcohol abuse.
Dismas House is an organization whose mission is to “reconcile prisoners to society and society to prisoners,” and provides shelter and re-integration resources to men and women being released from prison. Their objective is to provide these men and women with the second-chance resources necessary to be successful citizens upon release, and thus combat substance abuse, further crime, and overpopulation of prisons.