Centre County music is taking quite a turn this week. Thanks to the efforts of Centre County band Friends of Lithium, local pet rescue organizations are set to get a financial boost from the proceeds of Rockin’ for the Rescue, an event being held Saturday July 7 at the Café, starting at 8 p.m.
“Together, with the good folks at Café 210, we are going to hold two shows to benefit Pets Come First,” Friends of Lithium bassist Martin Sheridan wrote in an email.
For both shows, Friends of Lithium – which consist of Sheridan on bass, Fred Metzger on drums, Henry Chiarkas on guitar, and Nichol Sheridan on vocals and percussion - will entertain crowds with their core act, which is a smattering of songs from the '90s, including covers by bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.
All of the proceeds from the gig will benefit Pets Come First. “We are all passionate about animal welfare, especially Fred (Metzger),” Sheridan said.
This gig highlights something that is so great about Centre County. There are all types of musicians, all types of music, and all types of reasons to perform.
There are the music bars like Zeno’s, The Phyrst, The Café and other venues that regularly feature local music; there are festivals such as the Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Festival, Lemont’s Strawberry Festival, and, of course, Arts Fest; and there are fundraisers and/or events to raise awareness, such as Rockin for the Rescue. It’s the sign of a healthy community.
When a community has a vibrant arts scene, it means the people in the community have decided the arts are important enough to make time for them, to intentionally keep them in the forefront and to make room for them in a variety of ways. That’s the type of community we have, and Friends of Lithium shines a light on that truth.
Keeping the '90s covers train a-rolling, Friends of Lithium will also perform at the People’s Choice Festival July 14, to go along with their steady stream of gigs since the band got together.
“We have been together for about two years,” Sheridan said, “and played gigs including People’s Choice Festival, gigs at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, several wineries, and even the Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles.” The Whiskey a Go Go story is fun.
“Friends of Lithium attended Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Hollywood, California, in 2016,” Metzger wrote in an email, “and played “Man in the Box” with Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell and bassist Mike Inez. The band also played “Plush” with Stone Temple Pilots bass player Robert DeLeo and lead guitarist Dean DeLeo, and had the honor of playing three songs on stage at the famed Whiskey a Go Go.”
So, it’s a great gig for a great cause by a crew of great people, and it’s right in line with the vibe in Centre County. As for Pets Come First … it’s the most recent iteration of an animal rescue facility out on 322 past Boalsburg heading East, and is one of a few such places in Centre County, along with Centre County PAWS.
Kevin Briggs is a musician, writer and teacher who performs at venues throughout central Pennsylvania. Contact him at KevinTBriggs@gmail.com.