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Acoustic group rocks for causes
TJ Lake and Matty Comer perform on stage at a benefit show on May 2. The money raised from the show helped cover burial and funeral expenses for Carlos Garcia. - photo by Photo Contributed
When Carlos Jesus Garcia died at the age of 19, his family faced an expensive funeral and high burial costs. Matty Comer, a friend of Garcia’s father, decided to get some local bands together and perform a benefit show for the Garcia family. Comer said the show raised over $3,000. They called their musical collaboration the Turlock Acoustic Rock Society and, several gigs later, they are still playing together to raise money for causes in their community.
The Turlock Acoustic Rock Society is comprised of three local bands, Matty Comer and the exp., Hickory, and Soup. The combined group played four shows together in the month of July, and have two benefit shows coming up in September and August.
Matty Comer said that Turlock Acoustic Rock Society is introducing people to music that they may not have heard before.
“We’re trying to infuse music into this town the right way,” Comer said.
Jimmy Bruenn, founder of Soup Entertainment, said that a lot of people go to Modesto for music.
“There are a lot of things to do in Modesto, but none in Turlock. We hope to bring big talent from Modesto to Turlock,” Bruenn said.
Soup is a jam band, and Bruenn said they are influenced by bands like The Grateful Dead. In 2007, Soup won the Modesto Area Music Association award for best jam band.
Hickory is a TJ Lake creation. He describes it as “boo-hickie,” a type of music that mixes old-school beats with influences from Johnny Cash and bands like Alice in Chains.
Matty Comer describes his band as Southern rock influenced by outlaw country.
“I’m just a kid from Georgia,” Comer said.
The Turlock Acoustic Rock Society will play a benefit show for The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in September. Comer said that proceeds from the show will go towards the fight against breast cancer. In October, the group will be playing a benefit show for the Denair Education Foundation. Comer, who works for the Turlock Unified School District, said that the group was happy to have the opportunity to raise a little money for education.
The Denair show, called Bands and Brats (short for bratwurst), has been in the works for several months. Both benefit shows will be held at the Grizzly Rock Cafe in Turlock.
“There are really only four venues in this town,” said Dr. Blue, a member of the Turlock Acoustic Rock Society.
Dr. Blue said that he and his son both play and jam in bands for the benefit shows. He said that Turlock Acoustic Rock Society shows are very family-friendly, and parents are encouraged to bring their kids and introduce them to a new type of entertainment.
“It’s great to look back and see my son playing with me,” Dr. Blue said.
More information about the bands in the Turlock Acoustic Rock Society can be found on their Myspace profiles:;; and
“Fight for the Cure” will be held on Sept. 19.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. at the Grizzly Rock Cafe, 4905 N. Golden State Blvd. Tickets are $12.50 and include a steak sandwich. For tickets call Ralph at 491-2866.
Doors open for “Bands and Brats” at 3 p.m. and the bands start at 4 p.m. on Oct. 3. A $10 admission ticket includes a bratwurst or hot-dog and a drink. The show will also be at the Grizzly Rock Cafe.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.