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Rhodes,-Danny-2-B&W.jpgIn honor of one of Arizona’s most respected musicians, performers from throughout the state are hauling themselves and their gear into Sedona on their own dimes to play a series of benefit concerts.

By Tyler Midkiff

Larson Newspapers

In honor of one of Arizona’s most respected musicians, performers from throughout the state are hauling themselves and their gear into Sedona on their own dimes to play a series of benefit concerts.

Danny Rhodes, known by many as the frontman for Hillbilly Van Gogh and Danny Rhodes & The Messengers, has performed with countless Arizona bands over the years.

Both on and off the stage, he’s earned a lot of friends along the way and gained a reputation as the first person to drop whatever he’s doing to help a friend in need.

It’s only fitting that, now, just a short time after his doctor diagnosed him with stomach cancer, musicians and others are dropping what they’re doing to help Rhodes in his own time of need.

Fortunately, Rhodes’ cancer is operable. Chemotherapy is under way and many of Rhodes’ friends believe that if anyone can beat it, he can.

In the meantime, J.D. Duncan, a close friend of Rhodes, is putting in calls to musicians all over the state.

Only days after hearing the news, he already had a long list of musicians, businesses and other individuals willing to donate time and money to help Rhodes and his family, he said.

A series of concerts, beginning on Sunday, Sept. 30, and lasting through December, will all be hosted by Relics restaurant and nightclub in West Sedona.

The main event in the series, "12 Hours for Danny," is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7, from noon to midnight.

The list of performers is filled with members of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame, of which Rhodes is now a member.

Big Pete Pearson, Sammy Davis, Limbs Akimbo, Sonny Heartley, The Neon Raiders, The Z Band and more than a dozen other bands and solo acts are among those scheduled to play, according to Duncan.

The fact that so many musicians are taking time out of their busy gigging schedules to help raise money for Rhodes while he’s out of work speaks volumes about the respect they have for him.

The words "great guy" and "will do anything for you" were consistent among those asked to speak about the overwhelming support pouring out of the Arizona music community.

Rhodes provided a lot of work for Arizona musicians, Hillbilly Van Gogh drummer Eddie Bartini said.

Rhodes is probably the hardest working musician around and he’s been there for everybody, Baratini said.

"He’s one of the best players in the state and one of the best human beings too," musician Hans Olson said. "He’s helped a lot of people and it’s time we all helped him."

Most professional musicians spend their whole lives on the financial edge and that’s why they "band" together when someone like Rhodes hits hard times, Hillybilly Van Gogh mandolinist Aaron Tyler said.

"Danny [Rhodes] has devoted his whole life to music and we’re lucky to have someone of his caliber here in the Verde Valley," Tyler said. "We musicians are glad to help him. It’s a musical brotherhood and Danny has been a leading light in that brotherhood for years."

"Musicians have the greatest job in the world," Duncan said. "It’s our job to make people happy."

Through music, Rhodes has brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people, even if only for one night, Duncan said. It’s time to send a little of that love back.

Those who can’t attend the "12 Hours for Danny" benefit concert, but would still like to help, can donate to the Danny Rhodes Benefit Account at any Bank of America branch, Duncan said.




Tyler Midkiff can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 122, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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