HAMLET — Four Richmond County bands will share the stage Saturday with another band whose guitarist lost nearly everything — except his guitar — in a fire earlier this month.
Daniel Branch had just got home to his Aberdeen condo from a 12-hour shift and taken a shower before band practice when he he discovered the back porch was on fire.
“As soon as I saw the fire, one of my friends told me to call 911, so I immediately dropped everything I was doing,” he recalled Tuesday. “I was on the phone with 911 when I realized our upstairs neighbor didn’t have a way out because their porch caught fire. So I ran up the stairs … and banged on their door to try to get them out.”
He made it out with just the clothes he had on and his dog — which ran off but was later found unharmed.
Daniel Branch is a vocalist and lead guitarist for River’s Edge, which also features his brother, Franklin, on vocals, Shane Glaze on guitar, Wayne Humphries on bass, Virgil Bowler on drums and Megan Bradley on vocals.
“It was about 3:30, 4 o’clock in the morning when we got home from being up there with him,” Franklin Branch said. “I just sat there staring at the ceiling (thinking), ‘What can I do? What can we do?’”
The band’s first gig wasn’t supposed to be until May in Carolina Beach.
“The thought just ran through my head: ‘Maybe we can do a show for him to try to raise some money,’” he continued. “I talked to Shane and we said, ‘Alright, let’s do it!’”
Daniel Branch said he was “kinda shocked” when he found out about the concert: “(Franklin) told us our band was going to be doing a benefit and I asked, ‘Who?’ and he said, ‘You!’”
Franklin Branch said once local singer Charity Davis got involved, “… everybody in the community started pulling togtther and this thing just caught fire … it was about 24-48 hours when it kinda birthed itself.”
In the past several weeks, numerous items have been donated as raffle prizes from Richmond County businesses. Barbecue plates will also be sold.
Humphries will be one of two bass players with double duty, kicking off the show at Sports Connection in Hamlet with the band Simple Things — featuring Jonathan Robinson on guitar and vocals and John Martin on drums — before River’s Edge performs the final set.
The second band to perform will be the acoustic duo Doing It Again — with Chris Herring and Roger Campbell — followed by Safety Committee — with guitarists Chuck Smith and Mervyn Celso and bassist Patrick Razon — and Back Forty — with singer/guitarist Eric Whitfield, lead guitarist Brian Grooms, Razon and drummer David Lynch.
Since the bar is open until 2 a.m., Franklin Branch said it’s possible there may be a jam session at the end.
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page: The Daniel Branch Benefit Concert.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected].com.