Rockin’ For Ally
You always hear about the big benefits headlined by superstars. However, “Band Together For Ally” beginning at 6 p.m. (EDT) at The Homestead in Oyster Bay, N.Y., April 20 is more about musicians helping a fellow musician’s family.
Allyson Strong was diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer last summer. Although she underwent radiation and chemo treatments, her condition hasn’t improved. As you can probably surmise, Ally’s disease and the subsequent treatments have resulted in tremendous medical bills for her family.
Here’s where the music comes in. Ally’s father, John Strong, is a founding member of Northeastern regional band Red Flannel Hash, a band that has undergone various lineup changes during its 30-plus years of existence. Red Flannel Hash’s Rob Barraco, along with bandmate Lee Finkelstein played in the east coast Grateful Dead cover band Timberwolf and in the 1990s the two musicians joined up with Zen Tricksters. Finkelstein’s credits also include Funk Filarmonic and The Blues Brothers. Barraco and Zen Tricksters founder
These days Barraco and Mattson tour with Dark Star Orchestra, playing keyboards and guitar, respectively.
In other words, this is a story about musicians forming friendships, some of which have lasted more than a generation, and then coming together to help out a friend and his family.
Tonight’s “Band Together For Ally” features Barraco, Mattson and Finkelstein heading up a Long Island / New York City group of musicians. Joining them will be the original lineup for Red Flannel Hash, including members Patrick “Jake” Cummings and Jim Kempster. Also appearing will be the Jim Pin Band with Tom Bowes and members of Funk Filarmonic, Quick Draw, The Mike Nugent Band and The Folkadelics.
Along with an evening of great music, tonight’s benefit includes several raffles, including the chance to win a Brian Moore Custom iGuitar valued at $1,600, a pair of season tickets to Bethel Woods and two separate pairs of camping passes with VIP tent access for this year’s Gathering Of The Vibes. For more information, please visit the website BandTogetherForAlly.com.