Dave Beesmer wanted to organize a festival to benefit veterans and booked a bunch of fabulous musicians, only to discover that the process is mired in red tape: He’d have to get state approval, submit to all kinds of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) bylaws and requirements and officially register as a fundraiser. Beesmer, whose father was former commander of the Kingston VFW, wanted the show to go on, so he switched causes and now the event will be for the Queens Galley, the Kingston soup kitchen, homeless shelter and food pantry that is between locations but still very much in business. The money raised at this weekend’s concert will help in the Galley’s relocation.
The Rock for Food Music Festival, as it is now called, will be held from April 27 through 29 at the large stage at Backstage Studio Productions (BSP), located at 323 Wall Street in Kingston. The event features 18 musicians performing over three days. Beesmer said that tickets are a relative bargain: $15 for admission to one day’s performances, $10 for youth age 18 and under and free for kids under age 6. Three-day passes cost $35 for adults and $22 for teens under age 18.
Beesmer, who runs a company based in Lake Katrine called FrontRowDave Productions, said that the musical genres will range from country to blues to jam-band to rock. He’s dedicated to both music and good causes: As a videographer for Concert for the Catskills last year, he interviewed many of the bands and posted the footage on YouTube, along with information on how viewers could donate to Hurricane Irene victims.
Beesmer said, “This is not a garage-band event,” but a showcase for some very talented musicians. The roster on Friday night – doors open at 5 p.m.; music starts at 6 p.m. and runs until midnight – includes Midnight Slim (who played in the Levon Helm Band), Mister Kick, Sonny Rock (who was just inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame with his band, the Smokin’ Aces) and blues guitarists Rhett Tyler and Early Warning, who are also in the Blues Hall of Fame.
Saturday, with music scheduled from noon to midnight, features Gina Marie’z Dance Group, from Highland, who will pay tribute to 9/11; RT and Sredni, out of Woodstock; Just James and his Johnny Cash Tribute show, with special guests; Lindsey Webster, another Woodstock favorite; Frank Palangi, who regularly records in Nashville; The Redeemers (performing music of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and more); the jam band Blue Mountain Bustdown (from the Berklee College of Music in Boston); and HOTROD, the WBPM house band featuring John Henriksen, who will pay tribute to the Doors.
Sunday’s festivities start off at noon with Black Mountain Symphony, followed by members of the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, traveling from Cape Cod. The lineup for the rest of the day – the music ends at 9 p.m. – consists of NY Country; Art Adams, a Rockabilly Hall of Famer from Indiana; Mojo Myles Mancuso; and Marc Black, whose song “No Fracking Way” is becoming an anthem to a movement.
For more information visit www.rockforveterans.com, call FrontRowDave Productions at (845) 750-0363 or check out Front Row Dave on Facebook.