4th annual Festy John Benefit for Hospitality House | TheUnion.com
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4th annual Festy John Benefit for Hospitality House

Sonora Aero Club will perform tonight at Chief Crazy Horse Saloon & Grill, 230 Commercial St., Nevada City.The show starts at 9 p.m. and is $10 at the Door — and the first 20 guests get a freebie CD. The band recently released its self-titled, five-song EP and features Chad Conner Crow and Tom Kellar, on bench, and Brian McCommas, David Carroll, Kellie Garmire-Bradley and Shelby Snow.
Tom Durkin |

A dynamic local musical lineup will take the stage to perform at the fourth annual Festy John Benefit for the Hospitality House at Cooper’s Ale Works Wednesday. The Thanksgiving eve festivities begin at 8:30 p.m., featuring headliner Achilles Wheel, Halfpence and Haypenny, and introducing Sonora Aero Club.

Four years ago, Chad Conner Crow of As the Crow Flies Presents and “Festy” John Latta teamed up to put on a show at Cooper’s to benefit Hospitality House, Nevada County’s homeless shelter, on the night before Thanksgiving.

“It was Festy’s idea,” Conner Crow said. “He knew that the night always did well financially and we wanted it to benefit those in need for the holiday.”



Most local and touring musicians were greeted by Latta, a well-known local music promoter, at their shows and grew to know him well.

“He was the most avid supporter of local music and venues that I’ve known, and a very kind and warm hearted friend,” Conner Crow said.




For the last two years, As The Crow Flies has continued the tradition in Latta’s name after his death in 2012.

“We’re all very proud to continue putting on rockin’ shows in his name with his taste for great music in mind,” Conner Crow said.

The variety of musical styles on this night is very reminiscent of a music festival, Conner Crow added.

Multi-instrumentalists Sage Arias and Eva Riihiluoma open the show as Halfpence and Haypenny.

This old-world folk duo weaves a web of eclectic instrumentation and bardic style stories of western European tradition.

The two perform original works as well as unique adaptations of folk songs from England, Ireland, America and more.

Next on the bill are newcomers Sonora Aero Club, a group that melds folk/country/rock.

The band’s set will premiere the originals of vocalist and guitarist Tom Kellar.

His keen songwriting style flows with a reminiscent sound like classics you haven’t yet heard, Conner Crow said.

Closing the show will be local monster jam band Achilles Wheel. Their psychedelic rock orchestrations reached far and wide this past summer at a variety of regional music festivals and venues with rave reviews.

This annual benefit to support the local “houseless” shelter comes just in time to raise funds to support the opening of Hospitality House’s own facility, Utah’s Place.

Admission is $10 at the door.

Cooper’s is located at 235 Commercial St. in Nevada City.


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