$14,412. Yep, that’s how much the 3rd annual FoxBash Halloween party and concert raised Friday night for The Smile Train. Up more than $2,000 from last year’s private fundraiser, FoxBash’s donations will fund approximately 57 surgeries for children with cleft lip in impoverished communities around the world.
Reaching this record amount was only achievable because organizer Bryan Fox (& wife, Ryan) covered many of the event’s overhead costs out of his own pocket. Artist fees, the all you-can-eat BW3’s wings, and the all-you-can-drink rum punch and draft beer came by way of Fox’s donations. That’s contrary to what many other charity event promoters do; reimburse themselves first for overhead costs, and then donate the remaining monies leftover to the actual charitable cause.
Jefferson Tarc Bus, whose played all three years of FoxBash to date, kicked off the night with with two sets of their typical high-energy party rock-n-roll cover songs that span from Kiss to Rage Against The Machine. As a music writer, there’s not much I can sit here and interestingly assess about a cover band who plays radio-friendly party rock, so I won’t. They came. They rocked. They supported the cause. Thanks guys! Next time just convince bassist Dave Moody to whip up some of his Dave Moody burgers in addition to the wing buffet.
San Francisco-based Stroke 9, who brings just a little more national stardom then that of Jefferson Tarc Bus, turned up the crowd happiness knob with their funk-ska style of alternative rock-n-roll. After playing their shortlist of songs that made them somewhat of household name like “Little Black Backpack,” “Letters” & “Kick Some Ass,” they also turned to performing some cover songs to keep the audience singing along. TLC’s “Waterfalls” raised a few eyebrows as they cleverly yet cautiously turned it into a rock song. But they really went out on a limb when trying to do the same to Warren G’s “Regulator,” which came with Stroke 9 singer Luke Esterkyn humorously warning members of Nappy Roots about their own “rhyming style” at mid song. Even Bryan Fox himself couldn’t help not to get onstage for a little ad hoc vocal gymnastics with Stroke 9 as they wrapped up their performance after the midnight hour.
Finally, after 1 am, once the BW3‘s wing buffet had mysteriously vanished and the silent auction had closed, Nappy Roots claimed the stage to close out the night. Although a tad to late for some, the Billiards Club was still packed to near capacity to see one of Kentucky’s most popular bands.
Nappy Roots eagerly took the stage and then kept the surviving audience bopping their heads and dancing until the wee hours of the morning with songs like “Awnaw,” “Po’ Folks,” “Roun’ The Globe.” And new-bee singles like “Hey Love” and “Congratulations” featured the soaring vocals of red-rimmed glasses wearing Kelsey Lu, a somewhat new edition to the band.
Expect to see another edition of FoxBash to be planned next year around Halloween weekend because organizer Bryan Fox has no intent of letting it up now that its starting to gain some traction. Hopefully next year’s event will welcome some new artists and new attractions to the lineup.
Photos by Jason Ashcraft
** Jason Ashcraft is a freelance music writer who focuses on Kentucky's original music scene. Visit his blog at LouisvilleScuttlebutt.com or you scan this QR code on your smart phone to view the mobile site: