Manatee Food Bank beneficiary of artists' musical talents

vmannix@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

MANATEE

Carey Chaney has been involved in music most of his life and has a regular circuit of places where he performs every month or so.

Fogartyville Cafe and Mother's Musical Bakery in Sarasota.

Local Bean on Siesta Key.

Blue Parrot Cafe in Venice.

Influenced by the music of Bob Dylan, Beatles and Beach Boys, among others, Chaney enjoys those venues, but there is another place that is the unique recipient of his emotional investment.

Welcome to the 33rd Street Coffee House.

"My kind of church," said the 62-year-old singer/songwriter and lay minister.

That's because it is a church -- the Community of Christ Church, 5817 33rd St. E., Bradenton.

It's got a room that seats 100 and has been host to a bevy of area coffee-house style musicians Chaney has lined up on a monthly basis for a year now.

"We have this fellowship

hall and do potluck dinners, but I just felt it was really an underutilized space," he said. "For quite some time I was thinking it'd be a great space for a coffee house."

Pastor Ginger Robertson did, too.

A fan of '60's generation music, she felt the venue was a natural fit for musicians who thrive in a coffee-house style atmosphere.

"Carey brings in the most incredible people," the pastor said. "This music speaks to a lot of different people. It's a wonderful mix of folk and ballads with messages and stories."

Musicians such as James Hawkins and Tom Kaiser who, along with Chaney, will perform from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Mindy Simmons, Robert Killian and Jim Gromko have performed there in the past.

"It's a must on my list," Kaiser said. "There's a good cause."

The cause is the Food Bank of Manatee County, and Robertson made the 33rd Street Coffee House a vehicle to help raise funds for it. The non-denominational church also buys food from the Food Bank for its own food pantry and the monthly concerts help that mission.

"We feed not just people around the church, but people in outlying areas," Robertson said.

The goal worked for Chaney, too.

"It's so much closer to home and easier for people to see right away," he said. "They know what you're doing there, what your donations are going to do."

Mindy Simmons, who has performed statewide for 30 years, considers the 33rd Street Coffee House a special destination.

"When we have a cause we can support with our talents, we should," she said. "I can raise more money using my talents than me writing a check on my own."

People get to hear some good music while they're there, too.

"It's an opportunity to perform," Chaney said. "But a lot of these artists, who are gigging quite a lot, agree to come and don't receive a dime for performing. They're willing to play because they care about the cause."

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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