‘Great music’ for ‘great causes.’ Upcoming concerts double as fundraisers

Ryan Abel and his talented friends give performances from their hearts.

Abel lined up three concerts over the next few months to give rock music fans a good show but also to help some worthwhile causes.

“I was raised in church, and I love great music. I’ve always been about taking the talent I’ve been blessed with and using it to make my community better,” said Abel, who learned how to combine his love of music with philanthropy and business under the tutelage of Ed Turner. Abel sang with Turner and Number 9 for several years. “This is Ed’s blueprint.”


The first in Ryan Abel and Friends’ lineup will be The Next Waltz: Just One More Time at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, at the Imperial Theatre.

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It’s based on Martin Scorsese’s 1978 film The Last Waltz featuring The Band performing its last concert in San Francisco in 1976. Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson, also known as The Band, served as the backing group for Bob Dylan at one time, but they also made their own music singing songs such as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Up on Cripple Creek.

“I’ve always loved The Band,” said Abel, who watched The Last Waltz countless times when he was in college.

Jaycie Ward and Brooke Lundy are the SureFires.

Joining Ryan Abel and Friends that night will be other groups including Greg Hester & Street Choir and The SureFires. The night will raise money for a friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer

Tickets are $20-$40 and are available through the Imperial Theatre’s website.

In March, Abel will shift venues and styles to North Augusta’s Sharon Jones Amphitheatre to raise money for the RECing Crew and the Miracle League Field that is planned for Riverview Park.

Abel is excited about this one because it has a benefactor underwriting all the expenses, so that more money can go toward the field.

Goin’ South Rockin’ For a Miracle will be at 7:30 p.m. March 25.

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The style of this concert is Southern rock featuring the songs of groups such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special and the Allman Brothers Band.

Tickets for the concert are $40 for general admission and $800 for VIP tables which include eight tickets and a cash bar. They are available at the Goin’ South website.

The final concert will be California Dreamin’, a Laurel Canyon tribute, to benefit the Junior League of Augusta.

Last year, Abel held the first Laurel Canyon tribute and said it was such a success that this will be an annual one. It featured the music of artists such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Eagles, James Taylor, Carole King and Linda Ronstadt.

The concert last year sold out, so it’s been moved to the Miller Theater at 8 p.m. May 13. Tickets range from $35 to $80. For tickets, visit the Miller’s website.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the newsletter here.