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Bands battle to benefit fire chiefs association

August 24, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The Chambersburg-based rock band Marsiglia dropped its debut album and hosted Battle Benefit 2008 on Saturday at the Franklin County Fair.

All of the work in the months leading up to the event nearly caused lead vocalist Ryan Eshelman to miss the milestone day he helped develop.

"We started making (the album) in the spring, and in six months we hammered it out," said Eshelman, 27. "In the last two months, all of our significant others have left because we were always working and never around.

"I would work a 12-hour day and then go and work on the album until 5 a.m. I was actually in the hospital for the last weeks for pneumonia because of it."

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Still, it couldn't stop Eshelman from attending and coordinating the Battle Benefit, a venture to raise money for the Franklin County Fire Chiefs Association (FCFCA).

Five area bands competed at the event for cash prizes, with the winner taking home $500. The second-place band received $300 and third place got $200.

Dimestore Profit had the honor - or burden - of taking the stage first.

"We had to go first, but we did the best we could and we got a good crowd response," said lead vocalist Drew Adams, 21. "There's more people at fairs that come and actually listen to the music."

Adams said there were not any stereotypical audience members.

"It was a little bit of everybody," Adams said. "We saw some kids younger than 10, but even older people can appreciate this because we can play cover songs that go back 30 to 40 years."

Those songs were the specialty of the second act Saturday - The Lakota Band, featuring Jimmy Allen, Marcus Cournoyer, Randy McGowan and John Waltman - which ended its set with the U2 hit "With or Without You."

Complete Circle, Dreams In Fear and 21 Naked rounded out the lineup, and Marsiglia capped the night with a performance - its first since Eshelman spent time in the hospital.

"It's definitely kicking," Eshelman said.

Eshelman said the fundraising goal was $20,000. About $2,000 was raised before the event.

Donations were taken during the benefit, and some proceeds from CDs and merchandise were contributed to the FCFCA, which will use the funds to help pay for safety upgrades for 2009.

"They're going to be spending over $1 million on these upgrades, so we're trying to do anything to help," Eshelman said. "Everybody could stand behind it because (firefighters) are there no matter what."

Marsiglia's debut album - "A Band In Your Dreams" - can be previewed at www.marsigliaband.com and www.myspace.com/marsiglia. It is available at iTunes, DigStation and CD Baby.

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