Benefit series to aid Logan Fire victims


A band practice space in Logan County caught on fire Oct. 7, destroying thousands of dollars worth of musical equipment.

To help replace equipment, musicians from across the region are coming together for a series of three benefit concerts over the next two weekends.

“Pretty much everybody we asked said yes right away,” said JJ Waters, bartender at the 26th Street Drinkery, one of the three concert locations. “It wasn’t difficult getting people to sign up.”

Booking the events became a group effort with Waters, Ian Thornton of Black Sheep Burrito and Brews and Don Duncan of the V-Club helping organize concerts across Huntington.

Victims of the fire include Daniel Johnson, a West Virginia music scene veteran of more than 20 years and drummer for Let the Guilty Hang, Tim Browning and Jeffrey Ellis among others.

“Huntington is a second home to me,” Johnson said. “When all of this went down, a lot of the support came from Huntington. I was so caught up in everything going on. Then the lineups started coming out and that moved me. Some of my life-long best friends are on these lineups. To counter that, there are also bands I’ve never heard of, which makes me think ‘Wow, how cool. I want to meet these kids; I want to see their bands.’ People ask me what my favorite kind of music is, and I say ‘West Virginia music.'”

Logan firefighters told Johnson the fire appears to have been an accident.

“What it’s looking like is a battery in a trashcan is what started the fire,” Johnson said. “It’s the only theory that makes sense. We know for a fact that it started in a trashcan. The firefighters were great, they’re so smart and they’re all super good friends of mine who wanted me to understand what happened. People have told me about their cousins’ houses catching on fire because of batteries and I never heard of that.”

Johnson hopes the fire raises awareness for battery fires, as well as convincing other bands to get musician’s insurance.

The series of benefits begin Friday at Black Sheep with Jeff Ellis and 40 Days, Tim Browning, and Tyler Childers, who will perform solo before joining his band and Ona at the V-Club.

It continues Nov. 1 at the 26th Street Drinkery with local honky-tonk super group El Dorado, The Horse Traders and The Kayla and Jeremy Experience.

Nov. 6, Zero Dark Thirty, Scroungehound, Feverwar, Medicineman, Shenanagram, Down in Round Three and Set to Fail take to the V-Club to wrap up the series.

Nathan Thomas can be contacted at [email protected]