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Helping bring back Paradise

Some of the best bands in the Rogue Valley are throwing a big benefit concert, “Paradise Restored: From Southern Oregon With Love,” on Thursday, Dec. 27, to raise money for evacuees of the deadly Camp Fire that devastated Paradise, California. Besides music, gala offerings include a silent auction and food, all at the Historic Ashland Armory.

The concert features a stellar lineup, much of it promising to trigger memories of ‘60s classic rock. It includes Adey Bell, Alice DiMicele, Cornflower, Jeff Pevar and Inger Jorgensen, LEFT-Spects (a LEFT & Rogue Suspects combo band), Petty Thievery (a new Tom Petty Tribute Band with Bret Levick & Alice DiMicele), and Zepdrix (a Led Zeppelin-Jim Hendrix tribute band with Jeff Pevar and Inger Jorgensen).

In addition to a memorable evening of rock, the event offers a massage station, speakers and, for purchase, food and beverages (no alcohol, so all ages are welcome). Masala Bistro will serve Indian meals while Leora’s Chocolates serves honey-sweetened yummies.

Event organizer Larry Morningstar of Peace Village in Ashland said Ashlanders are standing up to help residents of the now-destroyed Paradise, as “It’s similar in size to Ashland and many of us thought, ‘This could have been us. Ashland has a big heart and likes to help those in need.’”

Peace Village Festival has produced music festivals for the last 12 years and researches the nonprofits they donate to. Funds will go to organizations in Butte County, some through the North Valley Community Foundation, “a trusted local philanthropy (with) expertise in knowing where the greatest need is and who can address it in the community.”

They are sheltering evacuees of the fire and, Morningstar says, spend only 1 percent on administrative costs. It is recommended by the Union of Concerned Scientists and friends in the county, he adds.

Also helping are the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, which supports shelter, food, evacuation and medical care for farm, domestic and wild animals. Peace Village is handing over all proceeds to these agencies.

DiMicele is a singer-songwriter-guitarist blending rock, jazz, R&B and rock in an “organic acoustic groove.” Cornflower’s music is music is “a mix of experimental vocal soul, world-funk, jam & electronica layered over a delicate balance of structure and improvisation,” according to Peace Village.

Guitar wizard Pevar is noted for playing with Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Starship, Phil Lesh, Laura Nyro and Rickie Lee Jones. He and his wife Jorgensen play in their local projects, Lovebite and Zepdrix and others.

LEFT-Specs merges hot dance bands Rogue Suspects and LEFT (Levick-Evoniuk-Frederick-Terren) in rock-funk-blues. The Suspects, usually voted the Valley’s top band, are: singer Shae Johnson, bassist Greg Frederick, guitarist-vocals Dirk Price, keyboards Don Harriss, drummer Dave Bolen, and percussionist Mary Rydman.

Zepdrix plays the music of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. It includes Pevar, Jorgensen, Paul Turnipseed (guitar, backing vocals), Matthew Kriemelman (of the Blue Man Project, on drums, backing vocals), and Nick Kirby (bass). Their music genre is Funk-Rock-R&B.

The 153,000-acre blaze broke out on Nov. 8, becoming the worst fire disaster in California history, destroying 18,800 structures, mostly homes and businesses, killing at least 86 and creating some 50,000 refugees.

Admission to Thursday’s benefit in Ashland is $15 in advance or $20 to $50 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the Music Coop in downtown Ashland and online at tickets.brightstarevents.com/event/paradise-restored. Doors open at 6 p.m.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

Photo by Nikita GearingCornflower
Photo by Mark ArinsbergInger Jorgensen and Jeff Pevar