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Musicians rally around children's charity

Little Warriors to benefit from third annual Edmonton Band-Aid

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 06:00 am

AT THE BOURBON ROOM – Singer-songwriter Bobby Cameron lends his talents to a benefit event for the Little Warriors organization.
AT THE BOURBON ROOM – Singer-songwriter Bobby Cameron lends his talents to a benefit event for the Little Warriors organization.
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Bobby Cameron, Wayne Allchin, Larry and the Muddy Maidens, Bella Cool, Sebastian Barrera and host Mark Ammar
Edmonton Band-Aid
Feb. 15 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Bourbon Room
205 Carnegie Dr.
Tickets: $20 Call 780-290-0071 to reserve or at the door

Although the second annual Edmonton Band-Aid is a relatively young event, local musicians are clamouring to participate in this benefit concert for Little Warriors.

Little Warriors is a national organization with a local base that helps child victims of sexual abuse heal. It has taken its assistance further by building the Be Brave Ranch, a single long-term facility devoted to the treatment of damaged victims left behind.

Close to 50 musicians and entertainers go raw and take over three venues for six hours on Saturday, Feb. 15. The musicians are all volunteering their time and all proceeds will be donated to Little Warriors.

This collaborative musical showcase brings together five acts at each venue. It also includes comedians, a host and a silent auction.

This year’s Edmonton Band-Aid runs in three venues, a leap from last year’s single locale. Local drumming legend Mark Ammar hosts the only St. Albert site at The Bourbon Room with a fantastic blues lineup that ranges from Bobby Cameron and Wayne Allchin to Larry and the Muddy Maidens, Bella Cool and Sebastian Barrera.

“Anything for the kids,” said Ammar when tapped to host the evening. “It’s a tough thing for kids to talk about and maybe this provides a contact point for them.”

Edmonton Band-Aid director Warren Sillanpaa launched the benefit concerts after a friend was diagnosed with cancer. Nine bands met and raised $5,000.

Seeing the power of music helping those in need spurred Sillanpaa to do something for children.

“There were lots of people on the Stollery Hospital bandwagon and this seemed like a good charity especially after we heard the government cut funding,” Sillanpaa explained.

One of his must-haves was Bobby Cameron, whose musical prowess comes through in his just-released single Hearts Collide.

“He’s an incredible talent and he’s back on his way up. His new album is incredible and as a performer, he’s phenomenal,” Sillanpaa said.

Sillanpaa goes on to say that “pound for pound Wayne Allchin is the best musician in town. He can play any new album coming out.”

As for Larry and the Muddy Maidens, well, “He looks like Grizzly Adams. But he’s very soulful and he just takes you to a special place. He’s an incredible guitar player. You have to see him to believe it.”

Bella Cool is an eclectic pop-blues, vocally-based group that is all over the map and Barrera is a Chilean-born, Brazilian-raised performer who blends a touch of bossa nova with fiery flamenco.

“If we don’t support it, nobody else will – as far as the government goes. And I don’t know of anything more important than to help these kids,” Sillanpaa said.


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