Music News & Reviews

Friend's death from Crohn's disease inspires concert

Rock Out Against Crohn's

8:30 p.m. May 8 at the Green Lantern, 497 West Third St. (859) 252-9539.

There is no question that the friendships that we maintain guide and change the course of our lives. Seldom is that underscored more than when a friend is lost.

Last November, Matt Patterson, a mainstay member of the Lexington music scene, lost a longtime pal and college-era roommate, Dan Garrett, to complications from Crohn's disease. Garrett was 47.

Two other college friends will honor Garrett this summer by running a half- marathon through the California wine country, raising a prospective $8,000 to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.

"Well, I'm not much of a runner," Patterson said. "But I thought I could get some bands together here and perhaps make a little bit of money to donate to that challenge. We could do that, perhaps raise a little bit of awareness and have some fun, as well."

So on Saturday, Patterson is gathering two Lexington bands with which he is actively involved — the long-running country/roots brigade The Yonders and the '60s psychedelic cover band Between Clark and Hilldale — along with fellow local-ites Coralee and the Townies, Gnarly Love and Frank Rocket for a benefit called Rock Out Against Crohn's.

"Dan was pretty private about what was going on," Patterson said. "The last few months of his life, he did not want to speak with any of his old friends. We weren't really able to find out that much about what was going on. But his death really hit us. Something like that puts perspective on things."

Crohn's disease isn't exactly the sort of malady that regularly becomes the focus of benefit events big or small. It is a chronic, inflammatory condition without a known cause or cure that attacks the gastrointestinal tract. An estimated half-million people in North America suffer from it.

"I don't know what to expect as far as how much money we will raise," Patterson said. "So depending on what we make, there's a possibility we may also give a certain amount directly to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. But the idea here is me pulling my weight in asking some friends to come along, play some music and have some fun for a good cause. We'll see what happens from there."

The bands at Saturday's Rock Out Against Crohn's benefit are set to perform 45-minute sets each. Here is the tentative running order: The Yonders at 8:30 p.m.; Gnarly Love, 9:30 p.m.; Frank Rocket, 10:30 p.m.; Coralee and the Townies, 11:30 p.m.; and Between Clark and Hilldale, 12:30 a.m.

"I was thinking of what would Dan have wanted his show to be like," Patterson said. "He liked all types of music. But I think he would really dig this lineup."