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Sold-out show benefits wildfire victims

Sunday, 12 November 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Sold-out show benefits wildfire victims
Corb Lund tips his hat to the crowd to wrap up his sold-out show at Twin Butte Community Hall last week. Funds raised from the evening will assist victims of the Kenow wildfire.   Photo by Shannon Robison

Sold-out show benefits wildfire victims

By Shannon Robison

Corb Lund and Little Miss Higgins rolled into Twin Butte on Wednesday and shared musical magic with a full-house gathered at the community hall.

Kassandra Chancey, who works at Twin Butte Country General Store and is a member of the Twin Butte Community Society, says the benefit concert raised about $12,000 for the Kenow Wildfire Relief Fund.

She was amazed by support of the event and that tickets were such a hot commodity, selling out in only two hours.

Little Miss Higgins is familiar to many through her regular performances at the Twin Butte store and at Soul Fest, so was a natural choice when organizer Jeny Akitt was considering artists.

Little Miss Higgins opened the show with her jazzy style that makes people stop and take notice. Many who hadn’t seen her before said they were blown away by her musical stylings.

Headlining the show was Corb Lund, whom Jeny connected with through Allison Brock of CKUA radio.

Corb has spent a considerable amount of time lending his voice to benefits during the past year and also has a personal connection to the area — his great-grandfather homesteaded near Beazer in 1898.

“I’ll probably end up living there when I’m finished rambling around,” Corb says. “If that ever happens,” he adds with a chuckle.

As the Kenow wildfire burned, Corb was out of cell range for 10 days and unaware of the situation.

“That was right when things were getting kind of scary for our place,” he says. A multitude of texts and messages were waiting when he returned.

“It was pretty close to home,” Corb says. His compassion and concern for those affected is genuine.

With a host of awards under his belt, Corb is no stranger to the stage and definitely played it up and connected with the Twin Butte crowd.

He joked about the reaction of Toronto folks to songs like “Cows Around,” then proceeded to put the audience in stitches with a rousing rendition.

While none of his songs are lyrically related to the situation, Corb assumed people would connect with “Little Foothills Heaven,” written about the family ranch.

He was right on the money.

Halfway through the set, Corb called his cousin Falen Nelson onstage.

The 14-year-old from Cardston belted out two tunes and made it clear that musical genes and showmanship run in the family.

Of the many benefits Corb has been part of, he says this one was personal because his family’s ranch was under threat as well.

“As a musician, that’s how you pitch in,” he says. “If I owned a backhoe I’d help that way, or if I was a plumber I’d help that way, but all I really do is play music. The money, in the end, helps a little bit, but it’s a drop in the bucket.”

He feels that the gesture and the knowledge that those in need have community support behind them is most important.

“When something happens in my backyard and someone asks me to help, I’m happy to do it.”

Others contributed to the cause as well. Town and Country Liquor, Nineteen89, Blackburn Jewellers and Chad Reed all helped out by purchasing tickets for fire victims.

Kassandra says it was absolutely wonderful that the musicians covered all of their own expenses and readily agreed to help the community.

Money raised will be added to the fund being administered by Angels Within Us.

20171101 TB Little Miss Higgins
Little Miss Higgins

20171101 TB Corb 5