Hooverville highlights Welch family benefit Sunday

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Popular local band Hooverville will play Sunday’s Share The Love benefit at the Milford Moose Lodge for Ted and Laura Welch, who lost practically all of their possessions in a house fire last month. Members of Hooverville are, from left, bassist and vocalist Al Cook, lead guitar player and vocalist Danny Beck, drummer John Wroten and rhythm guitar player and vocalist James Marquardt. (Submitted photo/James Daniel Bennett)

Sunday will be a day to give back to a couple who have spent years giving of themselves.

On Jan. 4, Ted and Laura Welch, longtime volunteers for the annual June Jam benefit concert that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for area charities, lost their home and almost all of their possessions in a devastating fire near Thompsonville.

Sunday’s Share The Love benefit at the Milford Moose Lodge will bring together those who want to help them recover from their horrendous misfortune.

Event organizer and former June Jam President Matt Boller has put together an afternoon of music, food, a cash bar, raffles, Chinese auction, 50/50s and more to benefit the couple.

“My game plan is to raise enough money to buy them a mobile home. They are renting one now. If we can raise $10,000 to $15,000, I’d be tickled to death,” he said.

The Dover nightspot Cowboy Up held a similar benefit for the Welches on Feb. 14.

Best Bets logo CLEAR copy“I stopped by there to drop off some things and the place was packed. I expect Sunday to be the same,” he said.

As soon as the blaze occurred, people with a connection to June Jam knew they had to do something.

“Randy and Carol Messick, a couple of past staffers, called me and told me that the (Welches’) house burned down and that started the ball rolling,” Mr. Boller said.

Before he even had a chance to reach out, Mr. Boller said he got a call from popular local musician Joey Fulkerson.

“He said that he had heard what had happened and that his band Nothin But Trouble wanted to help out, which was great,” Mr. Boller said.

Mr. Fulkerson, along with Mike Hines and others, also performed at the Cowboy Up benefit.

The other two acts playing Sunday are Smyrna’s Country By Night and Hooverville, a four-piece band that has been gaining popularity in just the last 18 months since its inception.

“Matt Boller got a hold of us and told us what happened. We’ve met the Welches a couple of time and they are good people. It’s hard to say no to something like that,” said the band’s rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Marquardt.

“It’s a real honor to be a part of it.”

Mr. Marquardt is joined in Hooverville by lead singer and guitarist Danny Beck, bassist and vocalist Al Cook and drummer John Wroten.

“We’re still a relatively new band but we’ve meshed so well,” Mr. Marquardt said.

The name Hooverville comes from the Great Depression when shanty towns, named for then-President Herbert Hoover, popped up all over the country to house the homeless. It is a nod to the music that came out of those areas.

“It’s what kept their families together and how they fought their own way through the Depression, with beat-up instruments,” Mr. Marquardt said.

Mr. Marquardt, of Milford, and Mr. Beck, of Dover, have known each other for about four years, having met in church in Milford. Once the decision was made to start a band, the call went out for a drummer and a drummer and a bassist.

Mr. Wroten, of Laurel, has played professionally since 1980 and in national touring groups throughout Nashville and Oklahoma for a decade.

“He’s a really nice guy, almost a father figure and a fantastic drummer,” Mr. Marquardt said.

Mr. Cook, of Salisbury, Maryland, brings more than two decades of experience as a bassist and sound engineer, often sitting in with noted Ocean City, Maryland, band Tranzfuzion.

Mr. Beck’s gritty voice ties the whole thing together.

Mr. Marquardt and Mr. Beck also have an acoustic duo, Dan and James, who won the 2014 Delmarva Folk Festival Folk Idol Contest and went on to host last year’s Folk Idol competition.

“I can’t say enough about him,” Mr. Marquardt said.

“I always say that we found him in a gravel pit. His voice has a quality that is harsh and smooth all at the same time. The kid is phenomenal and Al brings another cleaner quality to the vocals where he can do more of the ballads.”

“They are a very unique band who do some really off the wall tunes that you haven’t heard in years,” Mr. Boller said.

Mr. Marquardt said that’s one of the things that sets Hooverville apart.

“We do the songs that people love but forgot that they loved them,” said Mr. Marquardt.

“We play the ones that are almost required like ‘Mustang Sally’ and ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ but when is the last time you heard a band do Dave Edmunds’ ‘I Hear You Knocking’ or Tom Petty’s ‘Breakdown’?”

The combination of musicality and a diverse setlist seems to have struck a chord with music fans as Hooverville keeps a busy schedule from North East, Maryland, to Dover and beyond.

“We have gigs scheduled through New Year’s Eve. We’re not booked solid but we have shows through the end of the year. For the first time we are turning people away for certain dates. It’s a unique position for us to be in but pretty cool,” Mr. Marquardt said.

Hooverville will play Sunday’s benefit from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Country By Night kicks things off at 2:30 p.m. with Nothin But Trouble starting at 4:15.

The event itself is planned from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Milford Moose Lodge, 20142 Beaver Dam Road.

Admission is $10 and $5 for those younger than 12.

Donations, monetary and otherwise, can be dropped off at the Tip Top Trim Shop, 4008 S. DuPont Highway, Dover.

To donate prizes for the event, call Mandy at (302) 538-1702 or Carol at (302) 265-6283. For food coordination, call (302) 245-8368 or (302) 424-1492.

Laughs at American Legion

Get ready to laugh for a good cause Saturday night as three comedians, Sean Morton, Coleman Green and Tim Hayes, are being imported by the American Legion Riders of Walter L. Fox Post 2 in Dover for an 18-and-over adult comedy show at the post at 7 p.m.

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and dinner and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are $25 at the door. All proceeds go to the American Legion Legacy Foundation, which provides scholarships for children of servicemen killed in the line of duty.

Mr. Morton has made his mark on the comedy scene very quickly since starting in 2008. He has performed at major clubs and casinos all over the Northeast, California and Canada.

He has been featured on two nationally released DVDs titled “Ring Roasts,” which honors professional wrestling superstars. He also has been featured on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and just released his first DVD called “Don’t Judge Me.”

Mr. Green has appeared on The NFL Network, Jamie Foxx’s “Laffapolooza,” B.E.T Comic View, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Comedy Central and the independent film “The Bookie”.

After 25 years “cracking” patients up on his chiropractic table, Mr. Hayes decided to give to give comedy a try.

He recently won the inaugural New Talent Contest at the Tropicana Comedy Stop in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will soon be appearing there for a week’s engagement.

The Walter L. Fox Post is at 835 South Bay Road, behind the jet fighter plane.

Rosa Parks’ tale told tonight

Tonight, “Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks” will be staged at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover,

An original production with music for families and young audiences, the presentation combines live music, storytelling and drama to explore the grit and humanity of characters from the past, telling the story from Rosa Park’s childhood in rural Alabama to her famous decision “to sit down and be counted.”

Mad River Theater Works has performed in theaters and museums throughout the U.S. and Canada. Company members are a group of writers, performers and theater educators.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $10-$20 and can be purchased by visiting schwartzcenter.com, calling (302) 678-5152 or stopping by the box office at 226 S. State St.

‘Rosencrantz’ at Guild

Finally, as we told you last week, The Kent County Theatre Guild kicks off its 62 season with the Tom Stoppard Tony-winning play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”

The offbeat take on “Hamlet” starts at 8 tonight at the Patchwork Playhouse at 140 E. Roosevelt Ave. in Dover.

The show will run this weekend and next with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors, students, and guild members. This show is not recommended for children younger than 13; therefore, there is no pricing option for this age range.

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting www.kctg.org or at the door.

Now showing

New in theaters this weekend is the action-adventure fantasy “Gods of Egypt 3D,” the true-life Olympic story “Eddie the Eagle” and the thriller “Triple 9.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is another installment in the “Rocky” saga “Creed” and the acclaimed films “Room” and “The Danish Girl.”

 

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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