Drivin N Cryin frontman Kevn Kinney and singer-songwriter Levi Lowrey will headline a concert Saturday night in Copperhill, Tennessee, to benefit and bring awareness to the Atlanta-based SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center.
It is being presented by Shepherd's Men, a team of active duty, medically retired and honorably discharged service members.
Buck Bald Brewing will host a day of live music, food and drink from noon to 6 p.m. featuring 22 craft beers, including two specifically brewed for Shepherd's Men with proceeds going to the organization, dedicated to supporting soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Blue Jeans Pizza will provide food with singer-songwriter Shannon York performing.
At 7:30 p.m., Kinney and Lowrey, known for songs he's written for the Zac Brown Band, will perform at The Cabins at Copperhill. Each will play an hourlong set.
If You Go
Live music, food and beverages benefit for Shepherd's Men
* Where: Buck Bald Brewing, 160 Ocoee St., Copperhill, Tenn.
* When: noon-6 p.m.
Kevn Kinney and Levi Lowrey benefit concert for Shepherd's Men
* Where: The Cabins at Copperhill (Outdoor Amphitheatre)
* When: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
* Where: 496 Deal Road, Copperhill, Tenn.
Kinney said he was introduced to the work of Shepherd's Men by co-founder Travis Ellis.
"I did something for them last year," he said. "I'm not a spokesman for them, but I'm just in love with this organization and what they do. All of the money goes right to them, and that is important to me."
Kinney said he has a lot of respect for anyone who serves in the military, whatever their reasons might be. He has even more empathy for soldiers who don't make it back whole.
"They do this and end up paying a price that I can't even calculate. I'm not qualified to be their spokesman, but I am happy to be the entertainment and help any way I can."
Ellis said the goal of Shepherd's Men is to eliminate the number of soldiers who commit suicide.
"We raise money for our veterans — brothers who have lost their lives, for our brothers who are still fighting long after they leave the battlefield and for our brothers who have not yet returned home from war.
"We will not rest until the number of lives lost every day to suicide goes from 22 to 0. Our veterans deserve to live purposeful, gratifying lives after their honorable service to this country."
Kinney is a Milwaukee native who formed Drivin N Cryin in 1985 after moving to Atlanta, where he lives still. Like most musicians these days, he is not touring.
"It's tough being a musician in America. It's like being a carny. People don't see it as a real profession, and it's a little bit frustrating knowing you are not going to do anything for over a year. I'm glad I'm not starting out in my career."
He said it has been especially troubling living in Georgia and seeing the seeming lack of fear of the virus and respect for other people.
"I have friends with the virus. I have one friend who has been in his apartment for 90 days fighting it. It's serious. It's the difference between a jalapeño and a ghost pepper. The flu is a jalapeño. Nobody willingly eats a whole ghost pepper."
To keep busy, Kinney has been writing new music and avoiding references to the virus, which makes the task even more difficult.
"It's the hardest thing to write a record right now, because you can't reference it because in two or three years, nobody will remember that we went through this. They'll just get over it and move on."
"Plus, 90% of our songs are talking about this very thing. Taking personal responsibility and doing the right thing. It's what the Boy Scouts have been saying for years: 'Are you leaving the world better than you found it?'"
That line of thinking is why he respects the work of the Shepherd's Men so much.
"They are definitely making the world a better place."
To comply with social distancing guidelines, concert attendance will be limited to 200. Tickets will not be sold on site. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.buckbaldbrewing.com/events/shepherdsmenconcert2020.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.