Fundraiser for local musician Arnie J. Green at The Goat in Keystone
If you go
What: Fundraiser for Arnie J. Green & Courtney Smith
When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18
Where: The Goat Soup & Whiskey Tavern, 22954 U.S. Highway 6, Keystone
Cost: Event organizers are asking for a free-will offering at the door; proceeds will be donated to the Arnie J. Green Fund to help with medical expenses for both Green and Smith
On Sunday, Jan. 18, an all-star lineup of Summit County musicians will come together in Keystone to generate some positive, healing energy for one of their own, Arnie J. Green. Recently, Green’s myelofybrosis, a rare form of leukemia, came out of remission, and he is currently in a full-time care facility in Denver.
“Like most musicians these days, he can’t really afford to have proper health care, so when something like leukemia strikes and you need a lot of medical attention, we need to come together and show our support for someone who really does need our help and our love,” said Leon Joseph Littlebird, a longtime friend of Green’s.
The fundraiser at The Goat Soup & Whiskey Tavern will include a silent auction and music from the likes of Littlebird, Dewey Paul Moffitt, Len Rhodes and Moe Dixon, plus Tommy Shreve, John Truscelli and Mike Huberman, Angie Janzen and Keith Synnestvedt. Rounding out the bill are Lee Rogers, Ryan & Kendra, Todd Johnson, Local Folk and others who have known Green and have been inspired by him.
“There’s so many great players — it’s like the Summit County all-star lineup,” Littlebird said. “Everyone’s going to do their own short set and then there’ll be a lot of jamming going on. We can’t all get together and not play together, so musically, it’s going to be inspirational and really amazing for everyone who attends.”
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
Littlebird has known Green since the latter first moved from Silver Plume to Summit County 20 years ago. Though their relationship really blossomed through music, in the past five years, they have also shared the bond of going through leukemia together.
“We did benefits for him when he was first diagnosed, he did benefits for me when I was going through it, and now, we’re doing it again,” Littlebird said. “Being leukemia brothers is a tough deal, but we’ve been a huge support for one another going through it together.”
Green has been a source of inspiration for musicians in Summit County ever since he arrived on the scene, Littlebird said. One of those musicians was Truscelli, who met Green shortly after he moved to Summit.
“I believe Arnie got me one of my first gigs up here in Summit County,” Truscelli said. “We’ve jammed together over the years at various functions, sometimes planned, sometimes by coincidence. Other times I would play guitar in his band, he would play bass in my band. He’s a great musician, great friend, great everything. All of us who have been around here for a little while, we all know and respect and love Arnie; he’s always been a great friend and given great advice professionally.”
Huberman said Green’s talent has set the bar for what people have come to expect for live music in Summit County.
“Without even knowing it, he’s brought the music quality up several notches to keep up with him,” Huberman said. “Anyone who’s ever seen him perform, he’s touched automatically. I’ve had friends from out of town come in and they instantly will see one or two songs and they just gravitate toward him, and that’s one of those unexplainable tings that he has, this thing about him that makes him really unique.
“Any time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him, I kind of turn into sponge mode and absorb as much of his mojo as I can, and I think everyone’s kind of like that.”
A Summit County legend, Green is someone to take care of because he’s taken care of so many over the years, Truscelli said, whether it was through mentoring other musicians, helping them through the ups and downs of the industry, landing gigs and pushing them to improve their craft, or playing benefits for others.
“To give back to him is kind of nice for the community because he has given so much over the years,” Truscelli said. “He’s a good guy all around; he always seems to be helping people with something along the way over the years.”
Green has requested not to receive any phone calls or unannounced visits while he is in hospice care and that, instead, all communication go through his Facebook page, where he posted that he has been touched by the outpouring of love and support he has received.
“Emotionally and spiritually, I am accepting that I need to allow myself to feel as weak as I truly am, not strong like I have been for my whole life,” he wrote. “I so appreciate all your support, prayers, loving thoughts and any other resources you have to share.”
Littlebird said the fundraiser is about not only supporting Green financially but also sending out love, energy and prayers, holding him up with encouraging thoughts to help him heal.
“What happened to me two years ago with this community supporting me made all the difference, and it’s the reason I’m here today,” Littlebird said. “We want to get all of that energy and those people back together. It’s time to get together and unite and let that Summit County magic happen.”
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