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  • Benefit Concert for Brett Hartenbach

    Benefit concert for local musician, producer Brett Hartenbach

    Seacoast Online

    Brett Hartenbach Thursday Posted Apr 22, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    The Rochester Opera House will host a benefit concert featuring The Commander Cody Band, Wooden Eye, Susie Burke and David Surette on May 2, at 2 p.m. The benefit is to help offset surgery and related medical costs for local musician/producer, Brett Hartenbach.

    The Rochester Opera House will host a benefit concert featuring The Commander Cody Band, Wooden Eye, Susie Burke and David Surette on May 2, at 2 p.m. The benefit is to help offset surgery and related medical costs for local musician/producer, Brett Hartenbach.

    The Commander Cody Band was first conceived in 1968, in Ann Arbor, Mich., (the band was known then as "Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen"), and arrived in San Francisco in 1969, just in time to catch the tail end of the Summer of Love. Their repertoire stretched from old time rock 'n' roll, redneck country, boogie-woogie, Cajun, swing/jazz, and self-penned party anthems. Basically, Commander Cody represented the essence of American roots music. Eventually, the band signed to Paramount Records, and had a runaway hit with "Hot Rod Lincoln," which reached the top 10 in 1972. A few more tunes breached the top 40 as Commander Cody hit the concert trail, playing the legendary Fillmore Auditorium and sharing bills with the Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Jefferson Airplane, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin and The Eagles.

    They also backed up legends Gene Vincent, Link Wray and John Lennon. Later, their 1974 album "Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas" was named as one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest of All Time. Today the Commander Cody Band is closely knit, and features the legendary George Frayne aka "The Commander" (leader /keyboards/vocals), Steve Barbuto (drums/vocals), Rick Mullen (bass) and Mark Emerick (lead guitar and vocals). This new edition harks back to the instrumental virtuosity and spontaneity of the original band, and the response from critics and crowds has been overwhelmingly positive.

    Wooden Eye (Bob Halperin, Mike Rogers, Dan MacLellan & Joe Rogers) has garnered praise for its seamless blend of blues, rock 'n' roll, folk, and country, and is well known to regional audiences. The chemistry between guitarist Bob Halperin and harp player Mike "Bullfrog" Rogers can light up a room with "magnesium sparks" (The Wire). They are currently working on their second CD with the help of producer Brett Hartenbach.

    What: Benefit Concert featuring The Commander Cody Band, Wooden Eye, Susie Burke & David Surette Where: The Rochester Opera House (City Hall), 31 Wakefield Street, Rochester When: Sunday, May 2, 2 p.m. Cost: $20 Contact: Tickets available at the box office, online at www.rochesteroperahouse.com, or by calling 335-1992 Why: To offset medical costs for local uninsured musician Brett Hartenbach

    Susie Burke and David Surette have made a name for themselves as one of the finest acts on the New England folk scene for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music.

    "Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords - all too rare in these clever and cynical times" (Boston Globe) and multi-instrumentalist Surette's "bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary" (Folk Roots Magazine).

    Brett Hartenbach is a full-time, self-employed musician known throughout the Seacoast area for the charitable work he does as the bandleader, guitarist and soloist for Rock My Soul (a secular gospel choir), playing music and singing for those in need. In recent months, Brett has been touring throughout the United States and in many countries as the guitarist who accompanies Daniel Johnston, a singer/songwriter whose mental health struggles were documented in the Sony film, "The Devil and Daniel Johnston." Brett is a loyal and steadfast friend, always there to help whenever and however it's needed. Now, his friends would like to help him.

    For information about Brett and his surgery, visit www.thebrettfund.com.

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