Area bands Cover Up in support of a good cause

Area bands Cover Up in support of a good cause

By: Michael Miller

By: Michael Miller

By: Michael Miller

By: Michael Miller

Unbeknownst to some, big-name acts like The White Stripes, Kanye West and Queen have taken the stage at downtown Champaign venues.

When they step off the stage, you might know them better as Curb Service, Krukid and Elsinore.

The 19th annual Great Cover Up kicks off Sunday at the Highdive with area bands performing some very familiar songs. But artists staying tight-lipped about which act they'll emulate adds to the hype.

"Some people are really protective of who they are going to be," singer/songwriter Kayla Brown said. "The best part about the Cover Up is sitting in the crowd and just hearing the first chord or the first riff and figuring it out."

Brown, who should be debuting a new full-length album in the spring, will be making her second appearance. In 2008, she and her former band Darling Disarm performed as the trip-hop group Portishead.

"There's no pressure. You get to do something silly and have fun," she said.

What initially began as a one-night, six-band show has blossomed into a three-night local extravaganza featuring more than 20 acts.

The first Cover Up was organized by Dave Landis, a graphic designer and friend of The Didjits, the headliner for the inaugural show.

Landis added five other local favorites (Poster Children, Honcho Overload, Hot Glue Gun, 16 Tons and Ward All-Stars), and the event was an overwhelming success.

Landis moved to Milwaukee soon after the second Cover Up, and the torch was passed to Ward Gollings, an independent promoter with a penchant for wearing shorts in even the most arctic of temperatures. Under his helm, the event has continued to entertain and has benefited many charities along the way.

"In recent years, I've been trying to make the charity music-related, like getting instruments to kids who can't afford them or getting them music lessons," Gollings said. "Something to keep the arts alive and well in the community."

He estimates that the money raised for various charities over the years has exceeded $50,000.

All proceeds this year will go to help A Woman's Fund, which will aid local grass-roots organizations A Woman's Place and Rape Crisis Services. Both programs feature 24-hour crisis and information hot lines, and A Woman's Place offers shelter and support for adults and children escaping domestic violence.

Dottie and The 'Rail will make their first Cover Up appearance at this year's event, and it's quite fitting since the first show that the country and western cover band played together was also A Woman's Fund benefit show.

"None of the rest of us have ever played country music before," bassist Bob Henne said. "We had to not only learn all of these old songs, but we had to learn how to play country."

The band got together after guitarist Aimee Rickman heard the talented but modest Dottie Henning singing along to the jukebox at The Brass Rail.

"The rest of us (Rickman, Henne, Steve Burton and Dave Domal) were all rockers, but we learned the songs that Dottie used to do," Rickman said. "I think it's a great element that not only does this Cover Up benefit a local nonprofit charity that could really use money, but it's fun because everybody keeps it a secret."

Well, almost everybody.

"It'll be nothing like what Dottie and The 'Rail plays," Henne joked.

19TH ANNUAL GREAT COVER UP SCHEDULE

Sunday, Jan. 17

PopGun5 – 9-9:20 p.m.
Lonely Trailer – 9:35-9:55 p.m.
Ryan Groff – 10:10-10:30 p.m.
Kosmo & Jess Greenlee – 10:45-11:05 p.m.
Brother Embassy – 11:20-11:40 p.m.
Curb Service – 11:55 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
Mike Ingram Band – 12:35-1 a.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 19

The Delta Kings – 9-9:20 p.m.
Dottie and The 'Rail – 9:35-9:55 p.m.
Vvvvv – 10:10-10:30 p.m.
Robots Counterfeiting Money – 10:45-11:05 p.m.
The Chemicals – 11:20-11:40 p.m.
Roberta Sparrow – 11:55 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
Terminus Victor – 12:35-1 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 21

Mordechai In The Mirror – 9-9:20 p.m.
The Duke of Uke – 9:35-9:55 p.m.
Kayla Brown – 10:10-10:30 p.m.
Hot Cops – 10:45-11:05 p.m.
Jiggsaw – 11:20-11:40 p.m.
DJ Belly & Friends – 11:55 p.m.-12:20 a.m.
Santah – 12:35-1 a.m.

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