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North country musicians play to help food pantries

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WADDINGTON - Bluesman Rick Bates, also known by his stage name Tas Cru, and singer/songwriter Mary Ann Casale will perform June 7 as part of a series of concerts benefiting St. Lawrence County food pantries.

The “Re-stock” series was kicked off in March with a house concert at Robin McClellan’s home in Sandfordville and will continue until the end of spring.

“Restock is about providing food and donations for local neighborhood centers,” said Ms. Casale, Hannawa Falls. “It began when Rick and Daisy Cox, director of the Potsdam Neighborhood Center, began talking about a gap in donations after Christmastime.”

The solo artists started playing a unique blend of folk, blues and Americana together nearly 30 years ago as students at SUNY Potsdam.

“I think it’s neat people will come out and listen to the music number one,” Ms. Casale said. “I never gave it much thought about how it made me feel. I thought was something good to do for someone else. It was about having fun with an old friend and if other people will benefit from it, that’s wonderful.”

Admission to the acoustic concert is $10 or non-perishable food items.

“Everybody feels good about it,” Ms. Casale said. “I have never had to want for food, but I know people that are living on a shoe string. But if I can take something I know how to do well and to help other people, why not?”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Island View Park.

“It’s a family-oriented and community event,” said Mr. Bates, Watertown. “It’s important for children to understand they too can be a part of it.”

In case of inclement weather, the show will be held at United Methodist Church, 116 Lincoln Ave.

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