Musicians set to rock out for storm benefit concert

Musicians (from l. to r.) Mark Stein, Liberty DeVitto, Christine Ohlman, Ricky Byrd, Kasim Sulton and Richie Supa are among the performers slated for a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert. Photo courtesy Kayos Productions Inc.
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Guitarist Ricky Byrd will collaborate with Rockers In Recovery, a Florida-based non-profit organization that gives support to musicians suffering from addiction this Friday at 8 p.m. They will be hosting a concert at The Cutting Room, a Manhattan nightclub, to raise money for those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

It has been more than two months since the hurricane ravaged the East Coast, but families in lower-lying parts of New York are still suffering. Byrd himself is from Howard Beach and his house sustained severe damage. But he recognizes that actually “having a house to repair” makes him more fortunate than many others, and that is why he is giving back to these hard-hit communities through this musical fund-raiser.

Its main feature will be the Rockers In Recovery All-Star Band, and an opening performance from the Queens-based doo-wop group, The Capris. Special guests throughout the night will include rhythm-and-blues singer Gary US Bonds; English songwriter and singer Ian Hunter; recording artist and actor Michael Des Barres; British Invasion veteran Billy J. Kramer; LaLa Brooks (The Crystals), Gene Cornish (The Rascals), Simon Kirke (Free, Bad Company), Handsome Dick Manitoba (The Dictators) and Mark Bosch (Ian Hunter Rant Band). A & E Private Session’s Lynn Hoffman and Q104.3 DJ Ken Dashow will be hosting the event.

“There are many who no longer have a home and are not being taken care of by insurance,” said Byrd, “We’re hoping these funds can help them with much needed repairs.”

Aside from music, The Cutting Room show will have themed merchandise and auction items. All proceeds will go to The Graybeards, a non-profit based in Rockaway Beach, and the West Hamilton and Broad Channel Volunteer fire departments. These areas are still rebuilding homes and removing Sandy’s debris, and fund-raising events like Byrd’s will help them get back on their feet.

State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) represents much of the decimated area, including Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways. He has been heavily involved in Sandy relief efforts, and on Jan. 17 co-sponsored a bill to provide suffering homeowners with property tax relief. He said he believes strongly in the cause behind the upcoming concert at 44 East 32nd St. in Manhattan.

“I know there are thousands of people who still need assistance,” he said. “That is why I am so grateful to Ricky Byrd and Rockers in Recovery and all the participants in the event.”

Updated 12:46 am, January 25, 2013
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