Big hearts help Raul
The city’s music community is coming together tonight (Jan. 21) to help out one of its own.
Donna Stewart, owner of McCracken Station Pub, 1626 Valleyview Dr., said she’s hosting a fundraiser to help Raul Alcantara, who is recovering from what Stewart said is a life-altering stroke.
Raul, perhaps best known as one-half of the R Brothers — Rod Bandura is the other — suffered the health crisis during a performance with Bandura and Henry Small during Christmas holiday, Stewart said.
She’s invited the Russell Jackson Band from Vancouver, a blues group, to provide entertainment for the night.
Small said Alcantara left the stage at Interior Savings Centre during a break in the music, when Small was talking with members of the audience.
He told Bandura he wasn’t feeling well and would be back shortly.
Small said he found his friend and musical partner incapacitated in the washroom.
Long and McQuade, where Raul works, has donated a Yamaha keyboard and stand for a draw at the fundraiser.
Tickets for the upcoming Heart and Jason McCoy concerts are also being raffled off and a 50/50 draw will add to the fundraising.
Stewart said one-half of the $20 ticket will go to paying for the band, with the other half going to help with Alcantara’s recovery costs.
Jackson, born in Memphis and raised in Kansas, was playing bass with B.B. King by the time he was 25, a job he stayed with for seven years.
After that, he taught music and then joined Silent Partners, writing the title track on its debut album If It’s All Night, It’s All Right.
He’s also played with Charlie Musselwhite, Katie Webster, Matt Murphy, Kenny Neal, Long John Baldry and Roy Gaines.
The band’s drummer, Ivan Duben Jr., picked up his first set of sticks at age 1, eventually studying music.
He joined Jackson’s band in 1993.
James Rogers, the third member of the group, started Texas Storm — which also included Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The band fell apart after Vaughn’s death.
Stewart said the doors open for the Big Heart Blues Bash at 6 p.m. and all raffles will be done by 9 p.m., when the entertainment begins.
She’s starting early, she said, “because a lot of the people coming are musicians and they’ve got to work that night.”
Tickets are available at the pub or at Long and McQuade, 955 Lorne St.