Charity begins at home 

Eddie and Martha Adcock with Tom GrayCharity begins at Home. So it’s said. But it helps the homeless also.

That’s the aim of the Eddie and Martha Adcock, Tom Gray, Gene Johnson, and Valerie Smith.

The Adcocks have supported the homeless for over 15 years. As Martha Adcock says, remembering their heavy touring with David Allan Coe, “Most touring musicians — like us — can identify with homelessness. After all, they’re away from their home so much that they often feel rootless and even homeless,”

She went on to say, “For a number of years, Eddie and I had no home of our own, and we simply traveled from show to show in the vehicle we lived in. More and more, over the years, I found myself looking with longing into backyards and into windows at dusk when the lights inside came on.”

Eventually, the couple were able to buy a home in Nashville, “the home I never thought we’d get to have. I was so grateful for it that I wanted to do something for folks who aren’t so blessed. So I decided that we should put on an annual concert to benefit the homeless of Nashville,” Martha explains.

As we all know, Nashville attracts so many to the city, mainly in search of the stardom that proves elusive for the majority and, sadly, some individuals and families experience homelessness as their search for fame and fortune turns sour.

From the beginning the Adcocks linked up with Room In The Inn, that is, as Adcock relates, “a shelter program that with the help of a number of area churches, does immeasurable good here in Nashville. They, along with many area church congregations, provide a tremendous number of homeless people with food, shelter, encouragement, opportunities and transportation to jobs.”

“In the past, folks have helped us when we needed it,” remembers Martha Adcock. “They may not need any help in return, so hosting this benefit is our way of helping someone else who does need it.”

That has been the Adcock ethos since 1999. Again, the Adcocks have organised a December benefit, with old friend and former bandmate, Diamond Rio’s Gene Johnson bringing his concerns for the homeless to add to the drive to help the less fortunate of Music City, USA.

Marth Adcock continues, “the musician-artists who are so wonderfully willing to give of their time and talents are key to the success of a concert like this. They are the cornerstone of this effort. And club owner J.T. Gray, allowing us to host the show at his Station Inn, has been an essential ingredient. The media has also been extremely helpful.”

The 17th Annual Christmas Bluegrass Benefit Concert for the Homeless takes place on Sunday December 11, 2016, at the world-famous Station Inn in Nashville. It features the talents of Vince Gill; Alan O’Bryant; Jim Lauderdale; Tim O’Brien & Friends; Sheriff, Reno & Hamilton; Kathy Chiavola and Friends; Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike; Alan  Sibley & the Magnolia Ramblers; and hosts Eddie & Martha Adcock, Gene Johnson and Tom Gray. The event will be Emceed by Sam Jackson.

Donation at the door is $15 minimum. Larger amounts will be gratefully accepted.

Attendees are encouraged to bring items that individuals and families can use, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and paste, deodorant, razors, shave cream, combs, personal-size tissues, new socks, underwear, washcloths, lotion, sewing kits, pens, pencils and small notebooks.

All proceeds and gifts will be distributed through Room In The Inn, a local shelter system.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.