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VOL. 125 | NO. 158 | Monday, August 16, 2010

Rock for Love Turns 4 With Blowout Bash

JONATHAN DEVIN | Special to The Memphis News

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If You Go

Thursday, Aug. 19 at the Hi-Tone
$5, 9 p.m., ages 18-plus
Lineup: Star & Micey, Holly Cole & the Memphis Dawls, Teflon Don, the Candy Company
Emcee: Blair Combest

Friday, Aug. 20 at the Hi-Tone
$10, 9 p.m., ages 18-plus
Lineup: The Dirty Streets, the Magic Kids, Skewby, Glorie
Emcee: Ross Johnson

Saturday, Aug. 21 at Shangri-La
Sounds of Memphis Rock for Love 4 Day Party
Free, noon to 5 p.m., all ages.
Lineup: Amy LaVere, Oracle and the Mountain, the Near Reaches, the Burning Sands, Chinese Lanterns

Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Hi-Tone
$15, 9 p.m., Ages 18-plus
Lineup: Lucero, The Bulletproof Vests, Jeremy Stanfill
Emcee: Al Bell

The problem with launching a great new event is that after a few years everybody wants to be a part of it. Actually that’s no problem at all for the organizers of Rock for Love 4, benefiting the Church Health Center (CHC).

What started as a one-night show raising about $8,000 has now become a full-fledged, weekend-long music festival attracting more Memphis talent than can fit on one CD. The music runs from August 19 through 21 at the Hi-Tone Café, 1913 Poplar Ave., and Shangri-La Records, 1916 Madison Ave.

Adam Woodard with John Paul Keith and the 1,4,5’s at last year's Rock of Love.  Photo: Courtesy of Don Perry

“We’ve talked a little bit about where we can take Rock for Love from here,” said J.D. Reager of Makeshift Music who founded the program with CHC’s Marvin Stockwell. “For what we’ve done in the past, this is about as big of an event as we can pull off with local music. Two ways to grow would be to go after national bands, or try to pull off multiple venues. I don’t think there’s any way the show stays the same.”

And the proceeds have risen accordingly. Last year, the show brought in $23,000. This year’s pre-show sponsorship alone has already yielded $25,000.

This year’s headliner, playing on Saturday night at the Hi-Tone, is the homegrown success story, Lucero, whose twangy, Southern style has taken them on tours across the U.S. and Canada. The band’s 2009 album, “1372 Overton Park,” produced by Universal Music Group, helped catch the eye of filmmaker Craig Brewer and landed front man Ben Nichols a role in Brewer’s MTV series “$5 Cover.”

Reager and CHC communications specialist Jeff Hulett had been after Lucero since the event was founded, but schedule conflicts always got in the way. Ironically, Lucero’s drummer, Roy Berry, found help seeking a physician through the CHC after being attacked on the street, which resulted in a broken jaw earlier this year.

Amy LaVere also will take the Rock for Love stage for the first time with her signature upright bass and a heavy dose of Sid Selvidge inspiration, which Reager described as “cosmic Americana.” All three performances at the Hi-Tone are for ages 18 and up, but a free Saturday show starting at noon is good for all ages. Amy LaVere, and bands Oracle and the Mountain, the Near Reaches, the Burning Sands, and Chinese Lanterns will perform on Reager’s Sounds of Memphis radio show, broadcast through the Chris Vernon Show. Additionally, the Revolutions Bicycle Co-op will lead a bike tour of Memphis musical landmarks.

Tickets for Rock for Love are available at HiToneMemphis.com or at the door until they sell out.

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