Friday, November 17, 2006

Give a hoot for friends

Folk and fiddle music take center stage

Express Staff Writer

Matt Renner

What's a Hootenanny anyway:

1. A social gathering or informal concert featuring folk singing and, sometimes, dancing.

2. An informal session at which folk singers and instrumentalists perform for their own enjoyment.

Older Use—a thingamabob.

An old-fashioned Hootenanny will be presented at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Community Campus Theater in Hailey. Though I'm partial to any word that means thingamabob, this Hootenanny will follow along the lines of meaning No. 1.

Idaho Old Time Fiddlers Association member Ken Worthington planned the Hootenanny to aid friend and fellow fiddler Matt Renner and his wife Cheryl, owners of Sun Valley Masonry. Renner and Worthington are the organizers of the annual Wagon Days Open Fiddling Contest.

Cheryl Renner, 50, suffers from hemochromatosis, an genetic blood disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron. The extra iron builds up in organs and damages them. Without treatment, the disease can cause these organs to fail, as it has in Cheryl's case. She's been unable to work for about a year and a half, and this year her liver shut down and she spent two months in the hospital. On Dec. 6, the Renners are headed to the Salt Lake City transplant center for an evaluation for a liver transplant. The money raised at the Hootenanny will help them with the excessive medical bills they are incurring.

"This is strictly for medical expenses," Matt said. "I've done a lot of benefits but I've never been on the receiving end. We're hopeful she's going to be OK."

Bands will include the Wood River High School Dixie Band, and the Colla Vocé Jazz Ensemble along with Bruce Innes, Boulder Brothers, Hat Trick, the Idaho State Fiddlers, Ken Worthington with his grandkids, Renner's band Slow Children Playing, and "other individuals who will help out with a song or two," Worthington said. "Our goal is to pack the audience at both performances. The proceeds from the performances and silent auction and so forth will help out with her hospital and medical bills."

There will also be raffle prizes, a silent auction and a concession stand.

"Anybody who wants to play, we'll try to make room for 'em," Worthington said. For information and to make silent auction donations, call Worthington at 720-3358, Ray McClure at 481-0176, or Kim Stocking at 481-0689.

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