MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

August 20, 2009

Southern rockers to play benefit show here

Don’t let the tough biker dude image fool you. The guys in the Judge Parker Band are a bunch of softies.

Together for 20 years, these Southern rockers from Fort Smith, Ark., like to help out, performing benefit concerts occasionally. You can rock out with them at 9 p.m. today at Crazy Charlie’s Wildside, 407 E. Old Shawnee. They will be helping Keith “Tiny” Miller and his family by raising money to pay doctor bills. He was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in November 2008.

Larry Pearson, leader of the band, said he was contacted by Ken Yates of Muskogee about helping out.

“We have a lot of friends and family who have had cancer. Some have made it, some haven’t,” Pearson said. “Anytime we can help, we do.”

The band has done benefits for SIDS, animal shelters, women crisis centers and personal benefits. Of course, they can’t do only benefits, because the band is how they make their living.

“We do one or two a month,” Pearson said. “It ain’t all about the money. Ken is a good friend of mine and we’re hoping for a good turnout.”

Yates said the band includes “a bunch of great people.”

“Their music is off the wall, unrecognized for how good they are,” Yates said. “Maybe some day, the whole world will know.”

That dream might not be too far away. When Pearson and his brother, Arthur Pearson, started the band Dec. 2, 1988, they were determined to stick it out playing Southern rock with some blues, country and rock influences.

“A lot of bands break up after the first year of two,” he said. “A lot of bands we know cut their hair and get jobs.”

The band has four agencies that book shows for them. The guys just got back from playing in Colorado and Iowa. They have played almost every state except Alaska and Hawaii, and Hawaii is in the works, he said. On Sept. 4, they’ll play Thunder in the Sand in Iowa where about 25,000 people show up to hear bands like Black Stone Cherry and Nickleback.

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