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Willstock fundraiser to benefit longtime musician’s medical costs

The Untouchables
The Untouchables The Untouchables

WHAT: Willstock.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 23.

WHERE Jake’s Bar and Grill, 2112 Devine St.

Friends of local musician Will Salley have organized an afternoon of food, drink and live music to raise money to treat Salley’s chronic Lyme disease complex.

The event will feature music from six local bands, including Elliott and the Untouchables, Flat Out Strangers and Joe Taylor. The Agents, a popular Columbia band in the 1980s, will reunite for the show.

“They had quite a following back in the day,” said Ashley Hayes, a friend of Salley’s who is helping organize the event.

The music will run the gamut from acoustic-alternative by Linda Ewing to Flat Out Strangers’ rockabilly. The “pet-friendly, kid-friendly” event will also have an art auction inside the bar.

Bands will play the stage on Jake’s outdoor patio, flanked by lush greenery, a cornhole set and 10 outdoor taps. Two dozen beer selections are inside, featuring everything from Bud Light to Duck Rabbit Milk Stout. Food will be available from Jake’s kitchen, which uses only organic and locally sourced produce and meat.

Salley, a programmer for Southern Roots Radio, was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease complex in 2012. The illness, also referred to in the medical community as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, affects Salley’s motor neuron functions, limiting his muscle function. His medical costs exceed $50,000.

Because of the disease, Salley is in a wheelchair and sees a specialist in Washington, D.C. While he has played as a solo artist and in bands since the 1970s and ’80s, he has lost strength in his arms and hands and can no longer play guitar, Hayes said.

The Vibe

Willstock is a laid-back, fun event that will benefit from the outdoor setting and the warm May weather. The early start time allows parents to get out with their kids with more than enough time before bedtime.

The Verdict

This event is a great opportunity to hear local music and support a local cause. Tickets can be purchased at WillSalley.com/willstock for $20.

Amanda C. Coyne