Holding benefits a way of life for Kings County musicians

Wendy Elliott welliott@kingscountynews.ca
Published on July 31, 2014

Holding benefit concerts is kind of a way of life for David Arenburg and Basil Davidson of the Kentville area. Just check the events pages of this newspaper.

Along with their wives, the two musicians have been organizing regular concerts for about five years in places like the Kentville Legion branch or the Cornwallis Inn ballroom.

Recently, they set one up for a single mother with three kids who has been off work for several months. When you walk inside the Legion, live country music is playing, there’s a bake sale happening, a canteen and a 50/50 auction are underway.

Arenburg was on the playlist with Connie Munroe, while Davidson, who often acts as emcee, was performing with Robin Wright. Albert Barkhouse and Ron Keddy, along with Gerald and Elsie Wood, were also on stage.

The two men are familiar with the venue, Arenburg added, because they’ve played there most Friday nights at the country and western fun night since the late 70s.

According to Arenburg, the basic criteria for hosting a benefit are people in need.

“People who are unable to work or have cancer or get burned out,” he said.

Davidson says they usually take the summer off, but this year, they’re planning a benefit concert in August or September for someone battling illness. It will take place in the Canning Lions Hall.

Lurenda Arenburg says the benefits “keep us hopping, but we enjoy doing them and helping somebody.”

The almost-weekly concerts aim to assist individuals, she said.

“The talent is free, we provide the sound system and we appreciate the businesses that contribute.”

It isn’t easy knocking on doors and asking for auction items; however, if the cause is right it’s worthwhile, Arenburg believes.

Davidson adds that he and Robin Wright and Wayne Brown perform on a monthly basis at the Wolfville Nursing Home for a crowd that enjoys their country sound.