Contributed by K.T. McKee
Shred The Cabbage Fundraiser & Super Saturated Sugar Strings Concert
Dinner @6PM & Concert @7:30PM
Radio Free Palmer (a.k.a. Big Cabbage Radio)
Glenn Massay Theater
E 8295 College Dr. Palmer
Tickets: $20 Concert, $40 Dinner & Concert
Super Saturated Sugar Strings. Say it fast five times. Fun, right? Hearing them in person is even better.
Add some sliced, slow-cooked barbecue brisket or grilled Portobello mushrooms on a skewer from Laughing Raven Catering, beer and a myriad of unique local offerings at a silent auction and you’ve got one helluva good time at the Glenn Massay Theater on Friday, September 22nd.
It’s the second annual Shred the Cabbage fundraiser for Radio Free Palmer (a.k.a. Big Cabbage Radio) that is bringing together a powerful, creative force that sprouted rather organically for this event to support commercial-free community radio.
Not only are two musicians from the Super Saturated Sugar Strings from Mat-Su, but the owners of the Laughing Raven also are deeply rooted in the Valley. And they couldn’t be more excited for this Palmer party.
“It sounded like a great idea from the start,” said the band’s trumpet player, Logan Bean, who grew up in the cradle of Matanuska Peak and Lazy Mountain on his family’s farm, Arctic Organics, and attended Palmer High. “We’ve been wanting to play at the Glenn Massay again since our concert in May of last year and this provided a perfect opportunity. We have never worked directly with a radio station to produce a concert or been able to so directly support one. We strongly value community and are always looking for creative ways to support and nurture ours, so the opportunity to directly support this community radio is right in line with our ideals.”
But Bean, who has been playing trumpet since age 7 and joined the Super Saturated Sugar Strings in 2014 with the band’s release of their second album, is no stranger to Radio Free Palmer and its CEO, Mike Chmielewski.
Bean was there at the station’s beginnings back in 2011 when he worked with Out of Jam Solutions, helping with some of the technical aspects of getting off the ground.
“It’s been fun watching the development and it’s exciting that the station is solidifying itself as a community centerpiece,” said Bean, who shares the stage with another homegrown talent, bass player, Kevin Worrell, as well as vocalist/pianist. Kat Moore, singer/guitarist/percussionist, Carlyle Watt, cellist, Theresa Watt, and violinist, Miriah Phelps - all based in Anchorage.
Described as a alt-folky, gypsy-country group rich with vocal harmonies, string melodies and an element of carnival sideshow, the Super Saturated Sugar Strings seems to fit perfectly with the food and silent auction items adorning the Glenn Massay lobby that night, starting at 6pm. The concert begins at 7:30pm.
Laughing Raven’s owners, Jodie Anderson and Randy Cole, started their catering venture only four months ago as a “side gig” and are looking forward to introducing their real southern barbecue cooked over charcoal and hickory while also supporting a radio station Anderson has been connected to for some time.
“We were very excited when asked to cater this event,” said Anderson, who has pledged donating 20 percent of the dinner profits to the fundraiser. “We love Palmer and try to support our community as often as we can. We feel this is a great way to help out. We also are huge music fans and really appreciate and enjoy the Super Saturated Sugar Strings, so this is a big win for us.”
As the Alaska Farm to School program coordinator with the Division of Agriculture, the soil scientist has been a guest on Radio Free Palmer’s “Ag Matters” show several times and also enjoys the eclectic nature of the music selections on KVRF. Her husband stays busy as a direct service provider at Mat-Su Services for Children & Adults.
The menu being offered during the event also includes cabbage and potatoes in some form, cake and a bottle of water. Beer also will be available for purchase.
Big Cabbage Radio board president and co-founder, Lee Henrikson, is confident that this year’s Shred the Cabbage will be even bigger and more fun than last year’s event at Klondike Mike’s Saloon, which was deemed quite successful for the fundraiser’s first year.
“We are pleased to feature an Alaskan band and have a family-run catering business providing the dinner,” Henrikson said. “Funds raised at Shred the Cabbage go toward running the member-supported, volunteer-run station and paying the bills so we can continue to tell the stories of the community.”
Henrikson is asking those planning to eat dinner to order in advance so that Laughing Raven has a good idea of how much food to prepare. There may be a limited number of meals available for purchase the day of the event.
Tickets are available for $20 for the concert only or $40 for concert and dinner at www.radiofreepalmer.org or in person at Fireside Books in downtown Palmer.
Event participants just might catch one of Bean’s favorite songs inspired by his childhood home.
“One song that really resonates in my mind with the Valley is “The Calling”. It’s about landscape and the sense of home and really rocks,” said Bean, adding the song “Float” also gets “endless love” from fans. “The meaning of “Float” is up to the listener, but calls upon some similar sentiments.”
For more information on the September 22nd Shred the Cabbage fundraiser, check Facebook and www.radiofreepalmer.org.
K.T. McKee serves on the Radio Free Palmer Board of Directors and voluntarily live streams the Mat-Su Borough School Board meetings to the RFP website twice a month.