Grotto to rock out for Raul
Perhaps it is a measure of how much Raul Alcantara is loved in the musical community of Kamloops.
Perhaps it is simply having watched in the past several years as he battled pneumonia that kept him in the intensive-care unit at Royal Inland Hospital for weeks, only to suffer a near-fatal heart attack and then, just weeks ago, a stroke.
Perhaps it’s because he was always there to help a customer at Long and McQuade — and tolerate a teen wannabe guitar hero trying out the instruments.
Whatever it is, there’s something about Alcantara that has brought performers together yet again — this time all home-grown — to raise money to help him in coming months.
And, said Jim Cochran, organizer of the next benefit, Rocking for Raul, he can’t even provide a lineup of performers because everyone wants to be there.
So, on Feb. 17, the Blue Grotto will see the Cathy Marshall Vand, the Skulmoski Brothers, Wiley, Serious Dogs, Scattered Atoms, Henry Small and Earthbound performing, with guest appearances from Amanda Marie, Kelly Spencer and Jesse Jones.
“Who knows who else will be there?” Cochran said.
“We’ve got so many people who want to play.”
Doug Perry is donating the sound equipment, Teri Willey is providing the venue, the performers are doing their thing for free and even Kira Gosselin of Earthbound is going to be there, even though she’s performing that night in The Vagina Monologues at Kamloops Convention Centre and likely won’t make it to the Grotto much before midnight.
Bu,t she wants to be there.
“Everyone wants to do this. The Skulmoski Brothers, Raul was jamming with them when he had the heart attack.
“People keep saying they want to help.”
Admission is a tough one for Cochran to explain.
He knows there has to be an admission, so he’s set it at $10 but would gladly accept more, if anyone wants to donate it — because it’s all going to Alcantara, who is facing months and months of rehabilitation from the devastation of the stroke.
Even pinning down when the doors will open that night isn’t easy for him because, with so many bands performing, he’s got to start early.
The first act goes on at 8 p.m., so he expects doors will open by 7:30, not a normal start time for the Grotto, but this isn’t a normal event.
It’s musicians for a musician — and likely a night Kamloops won’t see again for some time.