STORY WRITTEN BY FERN BRODKIN
For 21st Century Media
Back in the ’90s, Philadelphia’s Huffamoose was making a name for themselves nationally. They won a contest that gave them the opportunity to perform at the Woodstock 25th anniversary concert in 1994. They got signed to Interscope Records. Their single “Wait” made it to number 34 on Billboard’s modern rock chart in 1998. They got to perform the song on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”
And then there was the touring. Life on the road with Huffamoose was chronicled in the documentary “Here Comes Huffamoose!” And it was the incessant touring that ultimately led to the band’s demise.
“As far as the band is concerned, we were just on the road for so long with relentless touring that we got on each other’s nerves,” said Craig Elkins, Huffamoose’s guitarist and vocalist, in a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. “I think we just spent so much time on the road that it … got to us.”
Yet the band members remained friends. And when the opportunity arose to reunite and perform in a show at Ardmore Music Hall to support Dan’s Voice, they were all for it. They will headline the Dan’s Voice Loud and Clear Musical Festival 2014 on Nov. 23.
“Our friend Paul Reitano became involved with Dan’s Voice,” said Kevin Hanson, Huffamoose’s guitarist and vocalist, in a phone interview. “Paul is a cancer survivor and he wanted to contribute to this organization by holding a benefit, and we’re all real close friends with Paul so we thought it would be a great idea to turn it into a reunion concert and raise awareness for Dan’s Voice.”
Dan’s Voice is an organization named to honor Dan Rich, who lost his voice and ultimately his life to laryngeal/esophageal cancer. The vision of Dan’s Voice is to fund groundbreaking research, purchase advanced diagnostic tools, and enhance patient care and comfort, all with the goal of reducing the burden on patients afflicted with head and neck cancer. Their current goal is to raise $50,000 for a video endoscope for Fox Chase Cancer Center; thus far they’ve raised nearly $21,000.
This will be the third performance by Huffamoose since officially disbanding. They performed at World Café Live in 2008 and at The Grape Room in 2010.
“I’m always up for playing with Huffamoose,” said Elkins, despite his dislike of flying. “When we played The Grape Room a (few) years ago, I had such an amazing time. I think we all did.”
In addition to Huffamoose, The Fractals — featuring Huffamoose members Hanson, bassist Jim Stager and drummer Erik Johnson — will also perform. Plus there will be sets by Philly favorites Ben Arnold and Jim Boggia.
“I just called (Ben and Jim) and said ‘hey, we’re doing this Huffamoose show’ and they were both very receptive to it,” recalls Hanson. “Back in the mid- to late ’90s we all played together so often. Erik and I were actually in Jim Boggia’s band for a while, and I’m really close friends with Ben and Jim… They were right on board with it.”
Advance ticket purchase for the show is highly recommended. If you are unable to attend the concert and you want to make a contribution to Dan’s Voice, go to www.dansvoice.org/donate.html.
IF YOU GO
What: Dan’s Voice Loud and Clear Musical Festival 2014 featuring Huffamoose, The Fractals, Ben Arnold and Jim Boggia
Where: Ardmore Music Hall, 23 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore.
When: Sunday, Nov. 23 at 6 p.m.; doors open at 5:30.
Ages: 21+ only
Tickets: $20 in advance at www.ardmoremusic.com; $25 day of show