Tonight: Benefit for Tucson Drummer James Hunt




From 6 to 10 p.m. (and most likely a little later), you can take in some great bands for a good reason. Whiskey Tango, 140 S. Kolb Road, hosts a benefit for AmoSphere drummer James Hunt, who was recently diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Hunt's news arrived around the same time his mother passed away. To help him get home to see her, AmoSphere held a fundraiser for their drummer at a Chicago Bar gig on Friday, April 12. Band leader AmoChip Dabney told The Range the band raised about $3,000 to travel and funeral expenses.

The fundraiser tonight is for Hunt's medical treatment with one goal in mind—helping the drummer with med expenses that can possibly shrink his tumor, which is too large for Hunt to have surgery. The goal tonight: $7,000.

Thirteen bands are scheduled to play tonight, including AmoSphere, known for getting a crowd on the dance floor. Other bands include Neon Prophet, Crosscut Saw, Railbirdz, Bryan Dean Trio, Corey Spector, Nod Squad, Top Dead Center, AC Greenlaw and Lodestar, Midnight Blues Band, Tall Paul Band, Chilli Willi, and Heart to Heart. Comic Dan Wilkins and belly dancers will be on hand, along with a few surprises.

"We plan to squeeze out every dollar like a Jerry Lewis Telethon thing," Dabney said. "What's wonderful is that the bar is open until 2 a.m., so we'll be playing into the night. I think the even will easily run until 11:30 (p.m.)."

Dabney added that the number of bands who stepped forward to help out didn't surprise him. First, "Tucson is a very empathetic city."

"But James is also a very loved friend and musician. He's a good guy and one of the top six drummers in town and people really just like the guy," Dabney added.

Dabney said he Hunt began playing together around 2004. His drummer at the time had passed away, and he asked Hunt if he wanted to play with him.

"He wasn't playing around that much," Dabney said. "That sure changed once we started playing together. A lot of bands would have him. He's a profession and a great person."

AmoSphere plays a variety of reggae, blues, rock and zydeco. Dabney said Hunt easily moved from style to style.

While Hunt is unable to work while receiving treatment, he still wants to play with the band as much as possible.

"He said to me, 'It's one of the very few things I have left that I really enjoy,'" Dabney said.

So a few drummers are read to give him breaks as needed, and Dabney said he's happy to keep his friend playing with them as long as Hunt wants to be at every gig.

Can't make it to the show tonight? Would be a shame, but there's the James Hunt Fund via a PayPal account. It's posted on Dabney's web page, but only accessed by Dabney's partner.

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