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Music benefit bolstered by lots of local talent

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River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A benefit for the wife of Jeff Loven, billed as Wisconsin and Minnesota's top one-man-band, has turned into a virtual lovefest from skilled Hudsonites who for years have done cameos each week at his shows.

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They include numerous established musicians and capable amateurs who have been invited on stage during Sunday night shows at Dick's Bar and Grill. In recent years, the gig has spread to places like City Limits and Borderline.

Loven plays guitar and sings, along with a bass and drum track, and mixes in original comedic compositions. Regular participants, who sometimes take over guitars from Loven seamlessly in mid-solo, come all the way from Minneapolis.

Loven's wife, Melissa, has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and they have two children. Bands at the benefit for her -- from 1-11 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Throwbacks at Valley View Road and I-494 in Woodbury, Minn. -- are renowned as some of the top acts in the Twin Cities.

Donation is $6 for entertainment, and $10 to include a wristband for complementary beer. A spaghetti dinner, served buffet style, will be available for $10 from 4-7 p.m.

"So, in a nutshell, 20 dollars will get you kickbutt entertainment, free tap beer all night, and a spaghetti dinner," said singer Amanda Fagerlund of Hudson.

Silent auction bidding starts at 2 p.m. Double Shot will play at 3 p.m., Uncle Chunk at 4:30 and Kurt Jorgenson at 6:30.

The last band, at 8:30 p.m., will be Over the Line, which is making their debut. One of their members, Paul Anthony of Hudson, will sing a duet of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" with Loven. That song has also been done in his Sunday shows by the lead singer of the local band Deviant Distraction.

Among the benefit volunteers - some of whom will serve as greeters - who sing regularly with Loven are Tracy Culbert of St. Paul, who does Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll," and Fagerlund, who sings various numbers.

Other regular cameos from Hudsonites include part-time comedian Rich Raley singing AC/DC, longtime karaoke deejay Lori Bahneman covering Janis Joplin, and Shayne LaCosse singing Poison.

Established musicians from Hudson who get on stage with Loven include Josh Lassi of rockers Beastface, blues guitarist Brandon Scott Sellner and bandmate Hardy White, and trombone player Eric Roy.

Jay Langer of Ink Factory tattoos, who plays guitar in a couple of bands and does Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive" with Loven, donated a substantial amount of ink time. All of the local venues Loven plays have donated. There will be many other prizes and gift certificates, such as guitars and entertainment-based items.

For information or to donate, e-mail lovenbenefit@yahoo.com.

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