First-time event to bring musicians together, benefit S.D. Rock & Roll AssociationDave Andrews spent more than two years in the 1970s playing the role of roadie for Holocaust, a regional rock band. Reflecting on those good times — when nights were late and adventures common — got Andrews thinking: How can he bring local musicians of yore together to play music and swap stories of days gone by?
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
Dave Andrews spent more than two years in the 1970s playing the role of roadie for Holocaust, a regional rock band.
Reflecting on those good times — when nights were late and adventures common — got Andrews thinking: How can he bring local musicians of yore together to play music and swap stories of days gone by?
“It was something that I really missed. Nobody was putting any kind of a reunion together and I thought, ‘Well, if it’s going to be done, I’m going to have to do it myself,’ ” said Andrews, of Baltic. “It started out as kind of a selfish thing.”
What began as an idea for a small reunion has transformed into a two-day benefit for the South Dakota Rock & Roll Music Association. Designed to bring musicians together to jam, raise money and honor a man long associated with the local music scene, the event began Friday evening at Jackpot Gamblin’ in downtown Mitchell.
The Trey Tosh Band opened the weekend with his Friday concert. Today, musicians can register at 10 a.m. for a jam session scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Those scheduled to participate in the session include members of Flatland Express, Mystic, Good Times Band, Stillwater Canyon, Holocaust, Shakti and the Booze Brothers. Derek Olson is also scheduled to play a solo set.
The public is invited to join in the festivities, either as spectators or active participants.
Through a freewill donation and the sale of South Dakota Music Association T-shirts, Andrews is hoping to raise money to construct a glass enclosure at the Sioux Falls Washington Pavilion, where the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association will one day be located.
“It’s going to be food, fun, music and mayhem,” said Craig Youngstrom, owner of Jackpot Gamblin’.
The event will also feature the presentation of the first Musician of the Year award in memory of Dan Cunningham. Called the “father of music in the Mitchell area,” the late Cunningham is credited for being a friend to area musicians for many years.
“He made sure that everybody had what they needed,” Andrews said. “He was such a kind person. I can’t say enough about Dan.”
Youngstrom, also a former member of area bands, bought his first drum set from Cunningham. He said Cunningham could always be depended on to find or repair musical equipment at a moment’s notice.
“Dan was just a good friend to all local musicians to helped further their passion for music,” Youngstrom said.
Both Youngstrom and Andrews are hoping to make the event an annual occurrence.
“I got this little spark and it created a forest fire,” Andrews said. “We’re hoping that it gets bigger and bigger every year.”