Hurricane Harvey Benefit at Coleman Rodeo Grounds on Sept. 23

COLEMAN – Musicians from all over the area and the state will gather at the Coleman Rodeo Grounds on Saturday, Sept. 23 for the Love from the Heartland Hurricane Harvey Relief Benefit.

Organizer and musician Donnie Evetts, a Brownwood native, is heading up the effort, which includes Texas Country music artists Clay Shelburn and Aaron Copeland as co-headliners.

Evetts, who has been touring with his band for more than a decade, will be performing as well. Evetts said that as a person who performs and vacations in Rockport and Port Aransas, both ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, he had the idea to do this soon after the massive storm struck the Gulf Coast.

“I put it on Facebook and everyone started getting the event together,” Evetts said. “We wanted to get the funds down there as quick possible. So a month of planning is all we had.”

Evetts, who has a lot of friends in the music business, said he personally texted them and all began jumping on board immediately. Shelburn and Copeland are co-headlining, and Evetts is also on the bill along with other area musicians like Doug Burks, Four Barrel, Colton Fox, The Remedy, AW Rose and others who have yet to be announced.

The gates at the Coleman Rodeo Grounds will open at 3 p.m. Saturday and music begins immediately thereafter, Events said.

This isn’t Evetts’ first rodeo, either. He put together the Back to Blue Street Dance in Bangs last year.

“That’s where I learned the ropes,” Evetts said.

But he also knows the ropes when it comes to music. Evetts, 30, and a 2005 graduate of Brownwood High School, has four albums under his belt. And his big break came when the 2011 “My Cinderella” video went viral on YouTube. The video, which was released around Valentine’s Day that year, racked up 1.25 million views on the Internet.

“I was actually on a radio tour at KRUN in Ballinger when I saw it go over 600,000 views,” Evetts recalled. “I couldn’t believe it. I got tongue tied.”

Evetts’ band is comprised of himself, his brother Colt, who plays bass and does vocal harmony, drummer Ryan Olgin of Midland and guitarist Scotty McAlister of Denison.

“Scotty really shreds on the guitar,” Evetts said.

Evetts is constantly touring and even played the Brownwood Reunion Celebration in 2008.

“It was scary,” he said about taking the stage. “I did not think I would be scared. I just prayed ‘Jesus please be with me.’”

During the benefit concert, Evetts, who is an independent artist, will be performing songs like “First Time Again,” “Nobody’s Home” and “The Road,” the title track off his new album.

Evetts said he was so happy to get Shelburn and Copeland on the show. Shelburn has just returned to the states from a tour in the UK, where he played to sold-out crowds.

Shelburn, who is from the DFW area, said it was very important to him to sign on with the benefit.

“It’s very important, a few of my friends were affected by it,” he said. “It hit close to home. It is a way I can do my part by donating my time and get people to donate money that will go directly to the cause.”

Shelburn has two albums under his belt — one titled “Brokedown and Blue,” released in 2011 and a second release from 2015 titled “Defined.”

He plays guitar and calls his style of music “bluesy, funky country” or “funktry.”

“I write around a country skeleton,” Shelburn said of his music.

He too has a viral video, which is a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy.”

Just after its release, he racked up 7.5 million views and now that number has swelled to between 150-160 million views.

“That really gave me the international audience to do my thing overseas,” Shelburn said.

He recently performed at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne, England.

Copeland, who hails from Corsicana, learned to play piano and guitar as a teen and quickly began winning competitions. When he was coming up, he played honky tonks with his dad and brothers.

At the young age of 20, he started playing keyboards for the Casey Donahew Band. He did backup and harmony vocals and toured with the band for six years, and that would be where he got his musical/touring education.

Based in Fort Worth, Copeland is now on his own and is currently finishing up his debut album.

Evetts and Shelburn are planning to do some serious writing and playing together after the benefit, and may do a video or go into the recording studio.

But for now, the most important thing is to get the word out on the benefit and to send the proceeds to the hurricane victims.

Evetts said there have been a lot of folks working behind the scenes to make this happen, including Tanya Holbrooks, who helped him put the event together and other folks like Doug Burks who is playing and Chip Barker of Chipster’s Grill in Bangs who is donating the food.

There are sponsorships available, Platinum, $1,000; Gold, $500; Silver, $250 and Bronze, $100. If you want to sponsor, call 512-791-3891.

The gates open at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and VIP tickets are $100 each. The event is BYOB and there is a $10 cooler fee (no bottles will be allowed). There will also be a raffle with some great items and a barbecue sandwich meal will be available for a $7 donation.

All proceeds go to the HEB Disaster Relief Fund and will be dispersed where needed.

For more information, go to facebook.com/hurricaneharveybenefitconcert or call 325-998-2326.

Love from the Heartland

Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert

When: Saturday, Sept. 23, gates open at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $10 at the gate, $10 cooler fee, no bottles.

Where: Coleman Rodeo Grounds, 1100 Peach St. Coleman

Schedule of Performers

• 5-5:45 p.m. – AW Rose

• 6-6:45 p.m. – The Remedy

• 7-7:45 p.m. – Coleton Fox

• 8-8:45 p.m. – Four Barrel

• 9-9:30 p.m. – Doug Burks

• 9:30-10:15 p.m. – Donnie Evetts

• 10:30 – 11:15 p.m. – Aaron Copeland

• 11:30 – 1 a.m. – Clay Shelburn