classic rock

Will Rock For Food 2017: Rocking out to Help Feed Southern Illinois

Venues & Businesses
Marion Cultural and Civic Center

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Peter Frampton Comes Alive for the Marion Ministerial Alliance

Who: Dennis DeYoung / Jeff Pritchett Project
What: Marion Ministerial Alliance benefit
When: 2017-07-29
The Will Rock for Food benefit concert will bring in Dennis DeYoung Saturday, July 29 to the Marion
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The Will Rock for Food benefit concert will bring in Dennis DeYoung Saturday, July 29 to the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. The annual fundraiser provides a fun way to help feed needy families living in the region. Doors open for the event at 6 p.m.

J.R. Russell said the fundraiser provides an opportunity to thank Southern Illinois for their continued support for the Marion Ministerial Alliance’s food pantry.

“We like to focus on the rock artists of the 1970s and 1980s [at Will Rock for Food],” Russell said. “We want to bring acts that you wouldn’t always get to see around here.”

DeYoung, this year’s headliner, sang and wrote eight top-ten hits as a founding member of the legendary rock band Styx. Those tunes include “Lady,” “Babe,” “Come Sail Away,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Mister Roboto,” “Renegade,” and “Blue Collar Man.”

Russell said the event continues to expand every year.

“Each year it just keeps growing,” he said. “What really helped us was when we had Peter Frampton last year, because that helps attract other acts for the event.”

The Jeff Pritchett Project, which has supported the Will Rock for Food series since its inception six years ago, will open for DeYoung. The band, whose namesake is a Marion native, plays everything from the Temptations to Led Zeppelin.

In addition to the concert, those who attend Will Rock for Food will get the chance to participate in a silent auction. Russell said autographed rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, sports items, unique gifts, and experience-oriented packages are on the block.

“We have a street sign that has been donated— DeYoung Street— and Dennis is going to be autographing it beforehand,” Russell said. “We also have a dinner for two at Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri, and they will be going there by helicopter.”

The Will Rock for Food benefit is the only fundraiser that the Marion Ministerial Alliance holds. At the end of July, it’s well-timed. Russell said that summers see increases in need for the food pantry because schools, which provide meals to low-income students the rest of the year, are out of session.

“A lot of time, people think about donating around Thanksgiving and Christmas,” he said. “Now is a time when we are really in need.”

Russell also said he is looking forward to having a great show and hopeful that the event will bring a good crowd to help out a worthy cause.

“It’s going to be a great time,” he said.

Tickets range in price from $40 to $100. For tickets, call (618) 997-4030 or visit <>. For more information, log on to <>.

who: Dennis DeYoung / Jeff Pritchett Project

what: Marion Ministerial Alliance benefit

where: Marion Cultural and Civic Center


when: Saturday, July 29

George Thorogood and the Destroyers: Making HerrinFesta Bad... to the Bone

Venues & Businesses
Herrin Fest

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American Lion: Roaring Blues

Who: George Thorogood and the Destroyers / American Lion
What: HerrinFesta Italiana (blues, classic rock)
When: 2017-05-29
“Rock ‘n’ roll never sleeps,” George Thorogood tells Nightlife in his throaty, rock ‘n’ roll ravaged
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

“Rock ‘n’ roll never sleeps,” George Thorogood tells Nightlife in his throaty, rock ‘n’ roll ravaged voice. “It just passes out.”

He’s not kidding. Flash back to May 1985. I was still a high-school sophomore when my parents took our family and some neighbors to see Thorogood at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Among other eye-openers that came with this early concert experience: An enormous Hell’s Angel, slumped over to our immediate left, remained unconscious through the entire opening set by guitar legend Lonnie Mack. When Thorogood came on, the Angel found motivation to stagger up just high enough so when he promptly collapsed in a heap, he took out the entire row of chairs where we were sitting.

We didn’t need seats anyway. Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, kept the audience on its feet with the kind of ferocious, kinetic show for which they were already long known.

Live and on the many great recordings he’s released since 1977— covers of John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and Hank Williams’s “Move It on Over,” originals “I Drink Alone,” “Get a Haircut,” and especially “Bad to the Bone”— Thorogood and the Destroyers combine uninhibited Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry guitar riffs with a house-party atmosphere, some Little Richard-style a-wailing sax, and perhaps deepest mastery of the Bo Diddley beat this side of the late, great originator himself.

Southern Illinois gets a chance to experience these Thorogood hallmarks when he and the Destroyers close down HerrinFesta Italiana Monday, May 29 on the Piazza Stage. American Lion will warm up (and audiences should hope this local band brings their tuba player with them for an especially unusual blues experience).

Thorogood gives intensely physical performances— he’s always in motion, a blur of pirouettes and duck walks— and tours constantly. When asked how he stays in good enough shape to maintain that pace, he seems a little taken aback by the question. Then Thorogood injects a little humor in his response.

“I’ve always respected the value of a good night’s sleep. It’s a new formula that just came out,” he jokes. “It’s a real revelation in good health. Get as much rest as you can, a good amount of exercise, and a sensible diet.

“Doesn’t that sound really revolutionary?” he laughs. “That’s what they’ve been telling us since we were ten years old anyway.”

Thorogood’s propensity for playing covers sometimes masks his excellent songwriting. “Miss Luann” and the jubilant “Back to Wentzville,” both from Bad to the Bone, shine especially bright; the latter is perhaps the finest Chuck Berry tribute ever recorded. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, “Willie Dixon’s Gone” stands tall amid a collection of classic songs, most of which were recorded at the title address of Chess Records in Chicago. Quality control, however, prevents Thorogood from placing a greater emphasis on his own material.

“I only put out the good ones,” Thorogood says. “I’ve written hundreds of them, but some of them aren’t very good. I’m not going to release [an album] and say, ‘These are all originals,’ and half of them are lousy. That’s not the way to do business.”

Though Jim Suhler (guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) are more recent additions to the Destroyers— the former joined by 2003 and the latter by 2006— Jeff Simon (drums) and Bill Blough (bass) have played with Thorogood since his first album. Thorogood answers quickly and succinctly when asked how much of his success he attributes to the unusual level of stability he’s enjoyed from his backing band. “All of it,” he says.

Yet Thorogood is the only musician who plays on his next album, Party of One, due August 4. The collection of classic and recent blues songs returns Thorogood to his pre-Destroyers days, when he served as a local acoustic warmup act for touring blues legends Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Hound Dog Taylor, and Robert Junior Lockwood.

The approach was to record some of the things I had been doing a long time ago before I put the band together,” Thorogood says. “And there were some things that I did that I later adapted to the band....

“I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it,” he adds. “I wish I had done that first in seventy-three and then moved on to a band.”

Meanwhile, an all-electric, full-band performance with the Destroyers awaits at HerrinFesta.

Tickets for Thorogood’s concert range in price from $25 to $45. For detailed festival schedules, entry forms, advance tickets, and more information, log on to <>. For more about Thorogood, visit <>.

who: George Thorogood and the Destroyers / American Lion

what: HerrinFesta Italiana (blues, classic rock)

where: Piazza Stage


when: Monday, May 29

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