Music show to benefit bassist who was stabbed

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 21, 2011

By Susan Shinn
For The Salisbury Post
At BuckShots, it’s all about the music. Except on Sunday, it’ll be all about Kenny Thomas.
Thomas, bass player for the Yadkin River Theory band, was stabbed early on Oct. 31 as he walked home from Benchwarmers. A group of friends has organized a fundraiser to help pay his medical bills.
The rock-n-roll benefit show is set for 2-10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at BuckShots, 5865 S. Main St. Tickets are $10 donation and the event will feature 11 bands. Scheduled to perform: Gray Wise and the Back Forty; Kenny’s Ladder; Dionne, Hodges, Murphy Trio; Allison Crowell and the Drones; The Throttle Kings; Facedown; Ashley Farmer Band; Funk & Grits, Graveyard Blvd.; Big Break; and Yadkin River Theory.
Kenny’s employer, Longhorn Steakhouse, has donated hamburgers and hot dogs, which will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. In addition, the following businesses have donated door prizes: K-Dee’s Jewelers, Cooper’s, The Salty Caper, The Blue Vine, Hap’s Grill, Longhorn, Uncle Buck’s, Signs and Steins, Tastebuds, Sweet Meadow Café, Piedmont Players Theatre and Stringfellows Music.
Kenny, 39, bartends and waits tables at Longhorn, and has played with many of the featured bands. He’s lived in Salisbury for 17 years and didn’t think a thing about walking home after watching some football at Benchwarmers. He was approached on Jackson Street when someone tried to take his wallet.
“I felt like he hit me,” he says. “I didn’t know he was stabbing me.”
Kenny gave chase until he realized his attacker wielded a knife.
“I heard a gurgling sound,” he said, and noticed he’d been stabbed. He leaned up against the Thomas Street sign at the intersection and called 911 on his cellphone.
“Tell ’em to hurry,” he said.
Kenny was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and has undergone two stomach operations. He’s not yet gone back to work. Although he does have insurance, he has medical bills to pay, as well as everyday expenses.
Still, thanks to the friends who have rallied around him, he’s seen a lot of good come out of a bad situation.
“I can’t find enough words to thank the folks who are doing stuff for me,” he says.
He counts himself lucky that at the time of the stabbing, he was in excellent health.
His friends are happy to step up and help.
Jerry owns Buckshots with Jimmy Lingle and Scott Howard, the owner of Uncle Buck’s.
“Uncle Buck’s had gotten too small for bands,” Jerry says. “Scott asked me to help form BuckShots and I was flattered. I jumped on it right away.”
BuckShots is open Wednesday-Sunday and its motto is: “It’s all about the music.”
“We do everything from acoustic music to rock to Southern rock to country and blues,” Jerry says. “We try to cater to everyone’s interests.”
Kenny’s girlfriend works at Uncle Buck’s, and Jerry says the two businesses are like an extended family. “We found out this happened and we wanted to try and help.”
He adds, “If you can’t stand up and help your fellow man, then you’re in sad shape.”
Kenny says he’s looking forward to hearing all the bands — some he’s heard and some he’s not. He’ll play a set with Yadkin River Theory, trading in his beloved Gladys, a Fender Precision Bass, for a lighter instrument.
And he’ll concentrate on the positive aspects of this experience, not the negatives.
“It’s beyond overwhelming,” he says of his friends’ efforts.
Tickets are available at: BuckShots, Uncle Buck’s, Tastebuds, Dead Ed’s, Longhorn, The Blue Vine, Comic Monstore, Stringfellows Music and Tabu.
Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.