CLOVERDALE – American band Blackjack Billy will headline a cancerbattling concert here this summer, along with Tebey, Karen Lee Batten, The Tumblin’ Dice, Dave Hartney, DJ Jaxon Hawks and others.
Gone Country, the "Here for the Cure" benefit show, will return to Cloverdale’s Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre on July 25.
Early-bird tickets for the event, priced at $29.99, are available until May 1, as are "team 10-pack" tickets, at $250; after that date, the perticket price jumps to $39.99. The annual event was created by twins Chris and Jamie Rucheinski as a way to honour their mother, whose life was taken by breast cancer. In recent years, the gathering has grown significantly to include some big-name performers.
"Black Jack Billy will be our first American band that we’ve brought up, and these guys will surely bring a good party vibe with them," Jamie told the Now last week.
Based in Nashville, Blackjack Billy is known for its brand of "redneck rock," and counts among its songs "The Booze Cruise," released in the spring of 2013.
This year, the twins have changed things up on the fundraising front, to help individual families.
"Basically, we give tickets to people (who) are raising money to help a family suffering from cancer, they sell those tickets, bring us back the money and we cut that family a cheque for the full amount," Jamie told the Now in an email on April 15.
"We’ve had a great response so far, with around 500 tickets being sold by individuals right now. We’ve asked them to sell tickets anywhere from $30 to $50 dollars, so there’s probably around $20,000 going back out into the community, directly helping families."
Also new this time around is a "Stinky Pinky" contest aimed at guys in the crowd.
"Men hardly ever voluntarily go in for a checkup," Jamie explained, "so if they do, and they take a (photo) with their doctor afterwards, they will receive four free tickets to (Gone Country). Early detection is more important than raising money, so if we can get a couple of people in for testing, we’re happy."
More details about Gone Country are online at Twinscancerfundraising.com and also Facebook.com/TwinsCancerFundraising. firstname.lastname@example.org