GREEN COVE SPRINGS – As soon as the band CBD, which stands for Could Be Different, played their last note during the second Rockin’ For Stockins,’ Duval County Line’s Travis Bryan joined the …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – As soon as the band CBD, which stands for Could Be Different, played their last note during the second Rockin’ For Stockins,’ Duval County Line’s Travis Bryan joined the four band members for a bow like no other.
They leaped over the railing to the open grassy area in front of the stage, a drop of nearly five feet.
Since the musicians were young current or recent graduates of Keystone Heights High, they effortlessly bounced to their feet and were quickly embraced by family and fans who loved their songs and energy.
Paul Wane stood beside the stage. His eyes squinted, and he shook his head. The set was more than a young band creating their unique sound; the performance validated Wane and his wife, Lisa, and their commitment to fostering music for the county’s youth.
“It’s so much better to see them play music than watching them playing (with a video game remote),” Wane said. “To see what this has become is unbelievable.”
Austin “AJ” James got his first guitar a year ago. Now 14, he tore through guitar riffs like a veteran with a lifetime of stage presence. In addition to playing several original songs, AJ and fellow guitarist Henry Carter tore through a spotless 10-minute “Free Bird” guitar solo. Along with bass player Matthew Hallowell and drummer Luke Parsons, CBD is finding its footing.
“We played at the Howlin’ Moon once and at Matt’s apartment,” AJ said. “This is our biggest event yet. That was incredible.”
Hallowell played drums in the Indians’ march band. He picked up the bass three months ago but didn’t miss a lick at the second-annual fundraiser for Wane’s Rising Star: Guitars for Kids program.
Wane has donated nearly 300 instruments. He wants children and teens to get off their computers and cellphones to find a creative outlet for their energy. And like all of his events, he used Rockin’ For Stockins’ to gift more instruments to unsuspecting youngsters.
Keystone Heights’ Jared Goetzman got a guitar and amplifier, while Leigha Crowe, 13, of Raiford, was shocked to receive a special guitar from Wane.
Wane called Leigha to the stage between bands.
“I asked her, ‘So, what kind of guitar do you want? She said a regular one.’ That means you want a country western guitar,” he said.
Wane reached into a cloth carry bag for an acoustic guitar.
“Have you heard of Keith Urban?” he asked. “This is one of his guitars. Look, it’s signed by him.”
Then Wane gave her the same welcome others have heard for years:
“Remember what I said: There’s only two ears on the planet like yours, and they’re attached to your head. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not playing it right. They don’t hear what you hear. You play your song, all right?
“You are a Rising Star. Welcome to the family.”
Bags of toys, gifts and instruments were distributed to 150 children. There were games, food, face-painting, bounce houses and music. Wane also played tag with some children before some younger children got bicycles.
But it was, and always will be, about the music.
“We gave them a guitar and a platform to showcase their talents,” Wane said. “They did the rest. Hopefully, their dreams will come true like mine have.”