Mill to host benefit concert for Angelyn Hargrove


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Notes, beats, and rhythms. Though together they create the composition of music, blues and soul artist Tony Brown said they are simply surface matter.

“This medicine called music is more than a profession or a ‘thang’ that some people do. It is divine,” Brown said. “It is the ultimate communication device. It is a deep penetrating medicine that has the ability to reach in a person’s soul and lift them up mentally, physically, and spiritually. Music combined with the power of love could save this planet and all life forms if it would be applied in its true power form.”

At 7 p.m. Friday, Brown will be joined by many of his fellow Iowa City musicians at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., for a benefit to raise money for Angie Hargrove, daughter of legendary singer Gloria Hardiman. In March 2014, 40-year old Hargrove was diagnosed with Stage 3 brain cancer. While the purpose of the event is to help Hargrove offset the burden of medical bills, Brown said he hopes love and music will be in great supply.

“I, as a person who utilizes music, sound, and ‘riddim’ to heal, feel the necessity of being involved with this effort because it is more than raising money or funds,” he said. “It is making this healing power work.” 

Because Hardiman’s sister is a choir director, the first hour and a half of the night will be dedicated to gospel music, followed by a mix of blues and soul starting at 9 p.m.  The nine artists scheduled include Hardiman, Mama Teague, Craig Erickson, and Sean Seaton, with a few surprise performances.

Co-organizer and performer Johnny Kilowatt of the Johnny Kilowatt Band said the event is a great opportunity to unite Iowa City musicians.

“All of the musicians are friends, but we don’t often get to play together,” he said. “It’s nice for the musical community to rally in support of one of our own and have a great time doing it.” 

Hardiman has been singing the blues since her childhood, and she became most famous for her 1986 song “Meet Me with Your Black Drawers On.” She has become an influential member of the local music community in the last decade, and when she reached out to various artists on behalf of her daughter,  Kilowatt said, he and others involved immediately dropped what they were doing to help.

“I’ve seen how much Gloria is suffering through this ordeal as a mother, and it’s heartbreaking,” he said. 

Another co-organizer and performer for the event, Tanya English of the Tanya English Band, deemed Hardiman her “spiritual sister” after having been musically mentored by her.

“She’s one of those people that when she gets on stage, she just lights the room up,” English said. “She knows how to get people involved in what’s happening, to make it a party that people want to be at. It’s not like you’re going there to watch something, you’re going there to be a part of it. We’re very blessed to have her around, because she’s the real deal.”

English said the blues is representative of Hargrove’s fight with brain cancer because it reminds people to look for a silver lining.

“Angie is a fighter, and she is a very strong person,” she said. “I don’t see any reason why she couldn’t heal from this.”  

Benefit for Angelyn Hargrove
When: 7 p.m. Friday 
Where: Mill, 120 E. Burlington
Admission: $20 suggested donation

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