LEWISTON – Members of Lewiston Professional Firefighters Local 785 will offer up some hot licks at an April 16 bluegrass concert that will benefit the Salvation Army.

The show is the fourth annual event to raise money for the Salvation Army. It will take place at Lewiston’s Middle School auditorium and is scheduled to start at 6 p.m and run through 10 p.m.

Ray Desrosiers of Hebron, who is among the concert’s organizers, said four bluegrass bands and an a cappella gospel quartet called Grace In Harmony, which originated about two years ago at a church in Saco, will perform.

The bands are Spring Creek, Bluegrass Crossing, Midnight Flyer and Hester’s Creek Revival.

Bernie Coombs of Brunswick, president of the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine, will be master of ceremonies. “This show has been gaining every year,” Desrosiers said. “Maine’s bluegrass bands are always very generous with their time when it comes to supporting this Salvation Army benefit.”

Many of the musicians in the bluegrass groups have first-hand knowledge of the good things done by the Salvation Army, Desrosiers said.

Firefighters also see the important work the Salvation Army does to help with housing, clothes and furniture for families that are victims of fires. That’s why Lewiston Professional Firefighters Local 785 lends its support to this cause, Desrosiers said.

“This show is one of the first major bluegrass programs of the year; and it’s kind of a start-up for the summer season,” he noted.

Bluegrass music has always had a strong following in Maine with numerous festivals throughout the state. Based on folk, mountain and old-time Southern string band music of the 1920s and 1930s, bluegrass is traditionally limited to acoustic instruments, particularly guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and fiddle.

Hester’s Creek Revival, the group in which Desrosiers plays guitar, also features Mike Desrosiers on tub bass, an improvised instrument straight from the genre’s down home roots.

Desrosiers said Lewiston Professional Firefighters Local 785 donates a location for the benefit performance and all the ticket proceeds go to the Salvation Army. He said souvenir T-shirts will be on sale, and the participating bands will sell CDs.

At intermission, the Salvation Army food wagon will be set up for snack and beverage sales. Tickets are $7 ($5 in advance) and are available from Local 785 members and from the Salvation Army, at 786-3956.


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