benefiting a charity, because that’s one of the things Parrotheads do. Yes, we
do throw a heck of a party, but always with a purpose, giving back to our
community. Previous luaus raised funds for a local children’s home, women’s
shelter, cancer center, and Alzheimer’s research, among other things, and more
recently, The Wounded Warrior project has been the beneficiary.
In 2010, we had three bands scheduled to perform, with about a half hour
between them for switching out. Edward volunteered to play on the back deck
of the Marina Bar and Grill during those breaks, just to keep some live music going.
The owner, John Bull, himself a blues musician, heard Edward tuning up, and when the first band
took a break, he hauled Edward up to the main stage instead. So, rather than the
20 or so people he thought would hear him clearly, it was closer to 100. He impressed
the other bands, as well as the audience, and at the end of the day, John offered
Edward any breaks he cared to take on nights when the regular house band was
playing. Edward took him up on the offer a few times, and even ended
up with the house band playing behind him one night, jamming to one of his
songs. We held the Candy For Bread Map CD release party there, and Edward got
the stage to himself for a couple of hours.
This year, our local Mellow Mushroom Pizzeria closed for the day, on a
Saturday, no less, to let us throw our luau. Edward opened for the same band
he’d taken the break for last year, and again impressed them with his stage
presence and talent. The audience loved him and one woman squealed like a true
fangirl when she won a copy of his CD and a tour shirt in the raffle!
Both bands that followed him play a variety of party tunes and Buffett
covers, so it was nice to ease into the afternoon with Edward’s blues and folky
guitar picking. His covers also pleased the crowd, who were, as usual, stunned
to learn his age.
We had a great time hanging out with about 375 new friends and fans, and
though the totals aren’t in just yet, I’m sure the Wounded Warrior Project will
have a nice donation again this year.