Community Music

Popular Laurel Canyon tribute heads to bigger venue in its second year

After selling out the Imperial Theatre last year, a Laurel Canyon Tribute moves to a larger venue this year with more of the popular hits created by bands from that California region.

“This is going to have more of a rock and roll sound,” said Ryan Abel who is bringing together his group of talented friends at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Miller Theater for California Dreamin’ A Tribute to Laurel Canyon to raise money for the Junior League of Augusta.

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A different mix of artists will be joining in for this concert, Abel said. There’s not a full section of strings this year, but there are six more vocalists involved and Augusta University music professor Rob Foster will play.

Abel said to expect sounds of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Doors, the Byrds and the Eagles among others.   One section of the concert will be devoted to the women of Laurel Canyon.

Erin Tallent’s Laurel Canyon rehearsal photo posted at Ryan Abel’s Facebook page.

Tickets range from $35-$80 and are available at the Miller Theatre website or the Laurel Canyon Tribute site.

“Every ticket purchased promotes the Junior League of Augusta, Georgia’s Mission to support
the community by improving the lives of women and children, specifically through the League’s Community Grants program. In the last five years, over $38,000 has been awarded to organizations serving families across the CSRA, including Child Enrichment, Communities in Schools (now RISE Augusta), Warren County Schools Community Garden, GAP Ministries,
Camp Flawless, and The Family Y of Augusta’s Camp Ivey,” according to a news release.

Abel, who sang with Ed Turner and Number 9 and has performed with the Augusta Players as well as solo gigs, has given his talents back to the community in full force in 2023. This is the third benefit concert he’s crafted this year.

In February, he brought The Next Waltz to the Imperial stage. It was 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.

That helped raise money for the family of someone with Stage 4 cancer.

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In March, Abel’s Southern rock roots and his Goin’ South concert raised more than $25,000 for The RECing Crew’s Miracle League Field in North Augusta.

Abel will take a bit of a break before coming back Aug. 12 with a “Goin’ British” concert, which has the potential to cover multiple songs and genres with the wealth of British musicians who exist. That event will raise money for the Augusta Players’ Camp Wonderland, which helps children on the autism spectrum.

And details are being worked on the charity, but a final concert will be held in October based on Credence Clearwater Revival’s Run Through the Jungle.

As for 2024, Abel said he’s got another Laurel Canyon Tribute planned. While he’d like to do only three fundraisers next year, nothing is definite.

“It’s hard to say ‘no’ to people who need money and represent great causes,” he said.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter 

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