The third annual blues festival to support homeless veterans is set for Saturday, Aug. 26, noon to 4 p.m. on the Londonderry Town Common, intersection of Mammoth and Pillsbury roads.
Participating bands include Dr. Harp’s Blues Revue Band featuring special guest Jose Ramos, Deep Fried Blues Band and the Watts Up Band, all taking the stage throughout the afternoon with all donations and proceeds going to support Veterans Count, a program of Easter Seals, supporting veterans with financial assistance and services.
For Dennis Martin, also known as “Dr. Harp,” it’s important to help veterans, and the blues festival will aim to also put emphasis on the plight of homeless vets needing support.
“I’m passionate about helping homeless vets,” Martin said, mostly he said, because he knows what it’s like to need that support while not having a place to live.
Martin, a Cape Cod native, served in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years and said he recalled while serving and afterwards, he appreciated the veterans organizations that would help him with medical issues, education, and other support programs.
“People helped me, it’s my time to give back,” he said.
Martin is well-known for his musical talents on the harmonica, tagging him with the “Dr. Harp” nickname, because “harp” is a term referring to the tiny, shiny instrument.
And he has a collection of about 200 harmonicas that travel with him when he performs.
Music has been a part of Martin’s life since he was young He took on the unique harmonica as an instrument of choice, playing in young “garage” bands and learning how to appreciate music and how it can be such a part of someone’s life.
Martin also brings on musicians to play in his Revue Band that are veterans themselves, another point that draws the group closer and joined for a similar cause to help others.
“Music is great therapy,” Martin said. “It keeps me sane. I’m not good at a lot of things, but I’m a good player, but only as good as the people behind me.”
Martin said all the featured bands during the blues festival are donating their time. People can come hear great music, make donations if they wish, enjoy raffles, food, crafts, children’s activities, and find information on Veterans Count and other programs.
To learn more about the upcoming blues festival, contact Dr. Harp at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook for information.
What: Concert featuring several bands with all proceeds supporting homeless veterans
When: Saturday, Aug. 26, noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Londonderry Town Common
Info: vetscout.org/nh call 303-0352