Rock For Hunger 5
Words By Joe Davidson
Photos By Amy Castaldo & Joe Davidson
11.6.2010 Orlando, FL
In the fall of 2006 a group of college students led by Chris Goyzueta joined forces to help poverty stricken areas of Orlando. The group gathered local talent and put together the first Rock For Hunger festival. Since its inception the group has progressed to providing weekly meals for those less fortunate, lifestyle training and career development, assisting with after school programs, and “granting access to creative field trips that aim to stop poverty at its roots.”
This year’s lineup included Keller Williams, The Lee Boys, Zach Deputy¸The Legendary JC’s, and other great local bands from the Central Florida area.
When I approached the gates I didn’t know what to expect. I was thinking one stage, one or two vendors, and an empty lot. However, I was impressed to see that the set up was that of a mini festival. Great food and craft vendors matched with three stages on cloudless day, good times. Amy and I went over to the VIP area to sit down and get our camera gear ready and we ran into Uncle Al from the Lee Boys. We sat down and chatted for a while and then he took off to do an interview.
As the sun began to set Zach Deputy took the stage. I’ve seen Zach a handful of times in the last couple months and I must say that he is gaining momentum as the days go by. He has perfected his set up since the first time I saw him, adding specialty microphones for vocal effects and for his beat box percussion. Zach played for an hour and ended with a back and forth sing along with the crowd. He came back out for a short encore and finished up his set.
After Zach we wandered over to see the Legendary JC’s. I’ve heard a lot about this group and I was blown away. The temperature dropped after the sun faded away but the JC’s got everybody going. The front man was the life of the show; he draws the crowd in and gets everybody bouncing around. I jumped into the crowd to get a few shots and then stood back so I could see everything. As soon as I stepped back the crowd started to bounce around in unison in response to sudden change in tempo. The soulful Motown influence shines out through every member. If you’re in the Florida area check this group out, you won’t be disappointed.
I wandered over to get some coffee to warm myself up and then headed over to the main stage to see the Lee Boys. The band was wrapped up from head to toe trying to stay warm throughout sound check. As soon as the first song ended they all shed their jackets and got funky. We’ve done a lot of work with the Lee Boys this year and I never get tired of watching them. We met up with Roosevelt before the set and he was amped, more than usual. This energy came out on stage and got everybody dancing through the cold. As their time came to an end I ran to go get some coffee and get a good photo spot for Keller.
Anticipation grew as the crowd assembled in front of the stage. Keller walked up the stairs, already playing, and did what he does best. He opened with a jam that led into the instrumental “Thin Mint.”
Halfway through the set, Keller set up a loop and then started to story tell in harmony. He said that he had been checking out Zach Deputy for a while and then brought him out on stage. The two jammed for at least twenty minutes playing Freakshow>Fire on the Mountain> Tyrone (Erykah Badu).
After Zach left the stage, Keller played on for another half hour with crowd favorites including “Uncle Disney” and “Freeker by the Speaker.” As soon as he finished we headed out, retreating from the cold.
I’m very proud to bring this event to you. It’s not a huge show, although the lineup this year was solid. This event brings people together not only to have fun but to spread awareness of problems, and solutions, faced by society today. It was a great time for a great cause and I look forward to coming back next time.