West County: Band's Pickin 4 the Troops to aid Camp Barrett

Neil Hamrick has been picking his way through western Anne Arundel County on a mission to give back to the community that encourages him. Hamrick’s bluegrass band, C&O Express, has been entertaining locally for about eight years. Many of those performances were fundraisers.

C&O Express performed at the American Legion in Severn for Maryland Blue Grass Marathon in February. Hamrick organized the marathon jam to raise money for Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit that provides lodging for service members and their families while undergoing medical procedures.

June finds Hamrick and C&O Express taking the stage for charity once more at Pickin 4 the Troops on June 23, a fundraiser to benefit the Elks’ Camp Barrett, an accredited youth camp.

Hamrick knows his band will never make Nashville, but it can still have an impact.

“We can make a difference right here, close to home,” Hamrick said. “The fundraisers are a way for us to give back a little for being blessed with a little bit of talent that we can share with others. I can’t think of anything that I would do that could be more rewarding.”

You can enjoy the music of the C&O Canal at the third annual Pickin’ 4 the Troops from 2 to 6 p.m. June 23. A $20 donation buys pulled pork with all the fixings, and an afternoon of great music and great company, all while supporting a great cause.

Hamrick said, although the band’s roots are in bluegrass, their play list includes a variety of styles.

“We mix in a lot of what I call ‘crowd-pleaser’ songs — ones that aren’t bluegrass and most people are familiar with,” Hamrick said. “People love hearing songs they are familiar with and can sing along with.”

Hamrick’s interest in music goes back to the church choir he was active in as a youth. Once he’d learned to play a little, he became one of the choirs’ guitarists and a musician was born.

“It was ‘groovy’ in the ’60s to play an instrument,” Hamrick laughed.

C&O Express is four musicians and a sound person, all longtime friends.

Dave Bageant plays banjo and his brother, Bobby Bageant, plays bass. The brothers were raised with bluegrass music. Dave Bageant learned banjo 30 years ago while older brother, Bobby Bageant, has played bass for the last 12 years.

Dave Mathauer also does vocals and plays the mandolin.

C&O’s newest band member is Darryl Bair playing the dobro and singing also.

John Gerrish is the band’s sound man. A friend of the band for many years, Gerrish came to the jam sessions to hangout and watch them perform. Since he didn’t play an instrument, Gerrish invested in sound equipment and became part of the band officially.

“John is a contractor by trade but has the technical knowledge to tweak a sound board so we get the best sound we can out of our band,” Hamrick said.

Herberts’ Helpers bingo

Herberts’ Helpers will hold a cash bingo June 22 at Jessup Community Hall 2920 Jessup Road.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Bingo starts at 7 p.m. Advanced tickets are $15; tickets at the door are $20. Admission includes 20 regular games and three specials.

No outside food or drink; food will be on sale. Proceeds will help cover medical costs for the Herberts’ niece, Sara Mosset, who is battling breast cancer.

For additional information or to reserve a ticket, call Dana Herbert at 410-796-7999 or email ddherbert@maxinter.net.

A harpist delight

Georgie Jessup, singer, songwriter and proprietor of Edith May’s Paradise, 7711 Apple Ave. in Jessup, welcomes harpists Eric and Abigail Selby in concert June 16.

The Selbys are songwriters who perform original compositions on a variety of instruments: electric harp, keyboard, guitar, drums, percussion and vocals. Jessup describes their style as “a true fusion of Celtic, psychedelic, jazz, indie, blues and rock.”

Joining the Selbys onstage is guest harpist Cambria Van de Vaarst. The doors open at 7 p.m. with a $15 donation per person requested. For more information, call 410-799-3755 or visit www.georgiejessup.com.

Ladies movie night

Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene, 68 Gambrills Road in Severn, hosts a ladies movie night at 6 p.m. June 22. Women ages 18 and older are invited to watch the Chonda Pierce movie, “Enough.”

Pizza and drinks will be provided. Outside snacks and desserts to share are appreciated. Contact Billie Jean Fowler at billie,jean.fowler@gmail.com to sign up.

Elks’ June calendar

Glen Burnie Elks Lodge #2266, 878 Stevens Road in Severn, has the following social events on the calendar for June:

  • On June 17 from 9 to 11 a.m., enjoy an all-you-care-to-eat breakfast at the lodge for $8.50 per person. The menu includes breakfast items like omelets, waffles and pancakes made to order. The breakfast is held on the third Sunday of the month.
  • On June 19, and every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., learn the latest line dances for $5. Members and guests should report to the Elks lower lounge for dancing. And in the big hall every Tuesday night, play bingo, beginning at 7 p.m. Call for game fees.
  • June 20 at 6 p.m. is Italian Night. The lodge will serve an Italian dinner with all the trimmings. Call the lodge for menu and cost.
  • On June 21 at 6 p.m., enjoy Tim’s Elks Burger Night. Feast on a 5-ounce burger, steak fries, baked beans and dessert. Cost is $10 per person.

Call the lodge for reservations at 410-969-2266, or sign up at the lodge’s main bar.

To submit news for Severn, Hanover, Jessup, Harmans, Fort George G. Meade and Maryland City, contact Sharon P. Schultz at pinkladysps@gmail.com.

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