Find it at the upcoming 12 Bands concert
Ho Ho Ho! With less than three weeks until Christmas, it’s time to get into the spirit, or at least fake it as best as possible. There is one event every year that I look forward to that helps me celebrate the holidays and, no, it’s not John Berry. I’m talking about the 12 Bands of Christmas. Each year the organizers of 12 Bands get a number of local and regional musicians to record holiday themed songs, sell the CDs for charity, then cap the year off with a big celebration where the bands come out and perform. This week I sat down with Joe Stevenson, one of the organizers of the 12 Bands of Christmas, to get the lowdown on this year’s event and the history of the 12 Bands.
“12 Bands was started by Stoney Cannon and Coco Rubio in 2001 as a concert featuring local bands performing at the Imperial,” Joe explains. “I got involved in 2003 by adding the CD part and making it a fundraiser for MCG. Ruskin Yeargain was also part of the addition of the CD, producing all of the tracks. It was a huge success. A ton has changed since the early days with the exception of one thing. It’s all about raising money for pediatric cancer patients and their families and the only way we can do it is from the generous support of our local bands and businesses.”
Each year is a special, new event, maybe with new artists or even a change in venue. Since Joe has been involved for so long, I had to know if there had been some personal highlights for him.
“Personally for me, it was 2003 watching all of the hard work by so many people pay off. Seeing the line wrapped around the building and filling the theater to capacity blew me away,” he says. “As far as performance, Wycliffe Gordon’s performance in 2007 was one of the coolest. Lots of crazy good talent every year.” This year the 12 Bands features 12 songs by various local favorites like Funk You, Ramblin’ Fevers, Mason Jars and Granny’s Gin, just to name a few. But like Joe said, it’s more than just about the music, it’s about the charity.
“Over the years, 12 Bands has donated in excess of $150,000 to pediatric cancer-related causes,” he explains. “Our current crusade is to financially support local families in need who have children being actively treated at the GHS Children’s Medical Center. When a child is being treated, most of the time, a parent is out of work so they can take care of their sick child. This creates a financial hardship for them. 12 Bands receives requests from the parent through the CMC social worker. The bills range for past due power bills to rent payments. Since June we have assisted 17 families by paying over $7,000 in bills for them.”
This year’s event will be bigger than ever, an all-day event at the Augusta Common. “You can expect a full day of great music, all 12 Bands performing,” says Stevenson, “food, craft vendors and Santa! We will be serving beer and Coke products as well.” This is also going to be a special reunion for Joe, along with all these amazing local talents.
“I’m looking forward to all of the acts and have seen them all live before,” he says. “Great bands. I am excited about Dirty Realists, cool sound and a young band with lots of potential, Black Swan Lane has a big Euro following believe it or not. I guess that’s where all of the international CD orders came from. I’m playing this year for the first time with People Who Must. It’s our first recording in 13 years, so I’m excited to get together with the guys and play.”
You can get more details about this year’s 12 Bands of Christmas at 12bands.org. Everything kicks off on Saturday at noon and lasts until 8 p.m. Come out and support this great cause and let these musicians put you in the holiday spirit. If the music doesn’t work, there’s always the beer.
What shows are coming to Augusta? Who do you want to see in Augusta? I need a new camera if anyone is Christmas shopping for me. Email me at email@example.com. You Might Also Like: