When Billy Brimblecom Jr. lost his left leg to cancer in August 2005, his friends and fellow Kansas City musicians rallied around him, organizing benefits to raise money for a prosthetic limb.
The gesture so deeply touched Brimblecom that he wanted to do the same for others. Since 2013, he has been the executive director of Steps of Faith, a group that assists amputees in a variety of ways. The group is based in Nashville, where Brimblecom and his family moved in 2009.
“Mostly, we get prosthetics for people who can’t afford them,” he said. “We’re based in Nashville, but we help people nationwide. And we have board members in Kansas City.”
Brimblecom has been involved in music for more than two decades. While in Kansas City he played drums in about a dozen bands, including Stick, Creature Comforts, Blackpool Lights and Summer Breeze: A Tribute to Yacht Rock. In Nashville he has worked as a touring and studio musician, though his music career has taken a backseat to his work with Steps of Faith.
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He used his connections in the music world to organize and curate a compilation CD that will raise money for the foundation. The 27-track “My Feet Keep Moving Still: Songs to Benefit Steps of Faith Foundation” includes music from Ingrid Michaelson, Butterfly Boucher, Katie Herzig and Wynonna Judd.
“The Ingrid Michaelson song is the biggest win,” Brimblecom said. “And the Wynonna song is great. It’s a cover of a Raphael Saadiq song (‘Staying in Love’) from his third solo album. It’s my favorite song on that album. … I’ve become good friends with her husband, who is also a left-leg, above-the-knee amputee and drummer.”
The compilation has several Kansas City connections, in addition to Brimblecom’s:
▪ The Kansas City band Hembree contributed a song, “New Oasis.” Brimblecom’s connection to them goes way back. “It’s so funny,” Brimblecom said. “I’ve known Isaac (Flynn) and Garrett (Childers) since they were children. I played music in church with their parents. Now they’re both married men. And super-talented dudes.”
▪ The former Kansas City band Waterdeep, now based in Nashville, also donated a track, “The Last Hurrah.”
▪ Matt Wertz, who contributed the song “I Will Not Take My Love Away,” is a Liberty native.
The compilation is available through Noise Trade..
“You can go to their website and download music more or less for free, legally,” he said. “You can tip whatever you want, or the site will compose a tweet or Facebook message and you hit send to be part of a social media blast.” “My Feet Keep Moving Still” will be available at Noise Trade through Oct. 31.
“I hope we get a lot of dollars, but also draw hearts and eyes who will become allies and provide more dollars long-term for the charity,” Brimblecom said.
He hopes to generate more allies and funds at a fundraiser he has organized in Kansas City. On Oct. 24, “Laughs for Limbs” will be at Comedy City, 3600 Broadway. The show will feature Kay Cannon, known for the “Pitch Perfect” movies and as a writer/producer for “30 Rock.” Cannon is on the Steps of Faith Foundation board. General admission tickets are $20. VIP packages are available via Comedycity.cc.
Four other music events benefit charities or someone in need, including three this weekend.
Friday: The Elders, Kansas City’s world-traveling Celtic-rock band, headline a show at Crossroads KC. The show is a benefit for the Love Fund for Children, which provides money and services for children 18 and younger. Assistance includes counseling, medical expenses, clothing, shoes and school supplies. Tickets are $25 to $60. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Saturday: Seven bands will perform at the Fed Up Fest, also at Crossroads KC. The show benefits Harvesters — The Community Food Network, a Kansas City food bank founded in 1979, that feeds nearly 150,000 people each month. Seven bands will perform, including Beautiful Bodies, Hembree and Not a Planet. The event will include food trucks, yard games, a photo scavenger hunt and other activities. Tickets are $20 to $75. Showtime is 5 p.m.
Sunday: The Best Man Benefit at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave. Proceeds will go to Kansas City musician David Williams for medical expenses. For decades, Williams has been a prominent pedal steel guitar player and, by trade, a carpenter. However, a neuropathic condition has prevented him from doing either, so his friends and fellow musicians have rallied and organized a benefit.
“I’ve known David for 20 years,” said singer/songwriter Kelley Hunt, whose brother, Rick Wade, organized the event. “He is a terrific pedal steel player and a valued friend. He was the best man in my brother’s wedding.
“This is a case of somebody who was stopped in his tracks by a medical condition that pulled the rug out from under everything for him. … People have come together, his friends and a great collection of artists. (This) is something we can all do to help someone who suddenly has no options.”
Performers will include Kelley Hunt, Tom Hall and Boko Maru. Admission is $20. Showtime is 5 p.m.
Oct. 17: Rollin’ for Cerebral Palsy, Magoon’s Famous Delicatessen, 632 S. Eighth St., in St. Joseph. Proceeds will go to United Cerebral Palsy of St. Joseph.
Danny Phillips has been involved in the music scene in St. Joseph for years, primarily as a music writer, and for years he has wanted to organize a benefit.
“I have a friend who works at United Cerebral Palsy of St. Joseph and, being born with cerebral palsy, that made the most sense for me and the best place to start,” Phillips said.
His initial plans were modest: book one or two other bands. But the response he got from the music community was unexpected.
“Bands kept calling me and wanting to help, so I figured we might as well go big,” he said. “We went from three to 10 bands and the show will start at 1 (p.m.) and go until close. Some St. Joe businesses have donated prizes for a raffle. All the bands are donating their time, and all the money will go to UCP.”
The lineup includes the Kansas City band Freight Train Rabbit Killer, and several hometown bands, including Scruffy and the Janitors. Admission is $5.
▪ The CD compilation “My Feet Keep Moving Still: Songs to Benefit Steps of Faith Foundation” is available at Noisetrade.com through Oct. 31. All donations will go to the foundation.
▪ Friday: The Elders at Crossroads KC. The show benefits Love Fund for Children. Tickets are $25 to $60. Showtime is 8 p.m.
▪ Saturday: The Fed Up Fest at Crossroads KC. The show benefits Harvesters — The Community Food Network. Seven bands will perform, including Beautiful Bodies, Hembree and Not a Planet. Tickets are $20 to $75.
▪ Sunday: The Best Man Benefit at Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Ave. Proceeds will go to Kansas City musician David Williams for medical expenses. Performers will include Kelley Hunt, Tom Hall and Boko Maru. Admission is $20. Showtime is 5 p.m.
▪ Oct. 17: Rollin’ for Cerebral Palsy at Magoon’s Famous Delicatessen, 632 S. Eighth St. in St. Joseph. The show benefits United Cerebral Palsy of St. Joseph. Ten bands will perform, including Freight Train Rabbit Killer and Scruffy and the Janitors. Admission is $5. Showtime is 1 p.m.