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DBR BEnefit Follow-Up

Day By the River, Athens' long-time resident jazz jam band, can now say they ended their decade together on a high note. All reports say that the benefit show held in their honor featuring Widespread Panic with Vic Chestnutt, Barbara Cue and Bloodkin was one of the most outstanding shows in recent memory (seems logical with that lineup, doesn't it?).

Gail Patty, who's son Lee was killed in DBR's tour van crash last August, says the event at Athens' Georgia Theater went off like a dream, "The show was unbelievable. I am still getting e-mail, letters, and calls from folks who attended telling me how wonderful that night was. The best part of the night, to me, was simply the generous and cohesive spirit of all involved. It came together flawlessly."

Our ace photographer Bryan Gay was on hand to get some pictures from the event and he said it was one of the best shows he's seen in recent memory. The show started with some of the members of Day By the River playing "Georgia On My Mind," which couldn't have left a dry eye in the house. After some tunes from Day By the River Todd Nance, drummer of Widespread Panic, set up with his side band called Barbara Cue. After that set Bloodkin took the stage; Bloodkin has written some of Widespread Panic's popular songs, such as "Can't Get High" and "Henry Parsons".

The highlight of the evening was the appearance of Brute, an all-star group that consisted of all of Widespread Panic augmented with Athens singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt and John Keane.

Fans of Widespread and Blueground Undergrass will be happy to hear that another musician who has been the victim of tragedy, David Blackmon, was backstage. Blackmon has lent his extraordinary fiddle stylings to Widespread in the past, was a member of Blueground Undergrass awhile, and played fiddle on the Emma Gibbs Band's new CD prior to an accident that broke his neck. It is said that he's currently playing mandolin and should be fiddling again soon.

Tickets for the show were $15 and the Georgia Theatre, with a capacity of 600, was reportedly sold out. "My understanding is that they raisedabout $13,000. I received another $300 or so from people who could not attend and which I forwarded to Ted Lahey (vocals for DBR) last week," says Patty. "I know Lee pulled extra 'guardian angel' duty to help make that show the fabulous success that it was. He loved each and every member of Day By the River as if they were his brothers, and would have wanted the concert to be perfect. And indeed it was."