Help With Healing
musicians and friends band together for benefit concert
The Chippewa Valley’s musical community will come together Sept. 6 to launch a three-day benefit event to support Duane (Danno) Kebschull, founder of DMi Sound, member of the Chippewa Valley Blues Society, and all-around local music support powerhouse. The fundraiser will take place at The Stone’s Throw (304 Eau Claire St.) and feature 20 area bands, door prizes, and a silent auction.
Friday’s lineup, which starts at 7pm, features Manifest, Mojo Lemon, and the Over Unders. On Saturday, Sept. 7, music goes ‘till midnight with Jim Carlson, Greg Gilbertson, South Farwell, and more. Eggplant Heroes and Cathy Reitz & 7Swing are among the Sunday acts, which will go from 2-8pm. Raffle prizes include gift certificates for instrument repair and music lessons, albums by local artists, and a football signed by the Green Bay Packers. The event is called “Need a Little Help to Heal,” and the cover will be a free-will donation to help Danno with medical bills and loss of income due to breaking his leg in an accident in June.
Danno’s accident shattered the bones beneath his left knee.
“I know we’re far from the perfect picture of a family, but when a group of people comes together to help someone who tells them they’re too loud sometimes, it has to be a family.” – Danno Kebschull, longtime music support powerhouse
“As you can imagine, for a guy who works his butt off hauling around and setting up equipment all over Western Wisconsin, this is major setback,” wrote Cheryl Apfel Wise, president of the Chippewa Valley Blues Society, for a GoFundMe page the society set up to raise money to support Danno’s medical expenses. The page raised more than $8,000. Danno has been extensively involved with the Blues Society for nearly 12 years, setting up and tearing down audio equipment for 14 Tuesday Night Blues shows every summer, maintaining the program’s website, writing and sending the newsletter, designing graphics, and so much more.
Danno provides discounted or free services for countless community causes and concerts, including the Stand in the Light Memory Choir, local parades, the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra, the Girls Rock program, the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, and Decadent Cabaret, just to name a few. He is also the founder of DMi Sound, the Eau Claire-based production company that strives to provide affordable services to area musicians.
Almost immediately after the accident, musicians started planning a benefit concert for Danno. Stone’s Throw Manager Matthew Gehler, Cheryl Apfel Wise, and musician Anastasia Vishnevsky pitched in to organize the event, and dozens of musicians offered to perform. So many locals wanted to come out to support Danno that the benefit expanded from two to three days, and they still had to turn musicians away.
“Musicians in this community stick together," Cheryl said. “Danno might not technically be a musician, but he’s supported so many musicians in the community.” She added that as many musicians are uninsured, they understood the impact medical bills and long-term recovery can have on a person’s livelihood.
“It is heartwarming and it really makes me glad to live in Eau Claire to see the kind of support people have given,” Cheryl said.
Danno has had three surgeries since the accident, and is in the midst of recovery. For the first three months post-surgery, he must avoid weight-bearing activity completely, first using a wheelchair, then transitioning to a walker and crutches. It is likely he will need knee replacement surgery in the future, and that he will only recover to 80% functionality in his injured leg.
“This whole process has brought tears to my eyes more than once,” Danno said. “The fact that so many people will come out and give their time and talents says something about who they really are. I know we’re far from the perfect picture of a family, but when a group of people comes together to help someone who tells them they’re too loud sometimes, it has to be a family. And I’m grateful to each and every person who has helped out along the way.”
The complete lineup for “Need a Little Help to Heal” is available on the Stone’s Throw Facebook page.