LOMBARD – When Pete Miscinski put together plans for a benefit concert in Lombard, he knew exactly whom he wanted to see center stage July 28.
"The performers are my all-time favorite artists – Michael McDermott and his wife, Heather Horton," he said.
The Glen Ellyn resident has been raising funds through concerts and as part of a team of Chicago Marathon runners on behalf of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in Chicago, having raised $30,000 for the charity in the past six years.
He's bringing back McDermott and Horton, both standout solo artists who will appear as an acoustic duo for the concert at Brauer House's B House Live, which is providing the space.
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has helped over 30,000 at-risk youth since its founding in 1887.
"I've seen their operation and what they do – it is life changing and life saving," Miscinski said, noting the organization helps primarily teens. "They come from broken homes, abuse situations … a lot of difficult situations. Mercy Home gets them at an impressionable time and provides housing, counseling, support and education. They find the right fits. … Their high school graduation rates are incredible. … I've seen it in action and want to support that."
Miscinski said he has been a lifelong fan of McDermott and his extraordinary songwriting.
"He's been a recording artist for over 25 years now," Miscinski said, noting his music played on WXRT in the 1990s. Even through some tough times, he never stopped writing songs and has garnered praised from the likes of author Stephen King, who called McDermott “One of the best songwriters in the world and possibly the greatest undiscovered rock 'n' roll talent of the last 20 years.”
For a sneak preview of the concert, which will feature original songs as well as a few covers, one can visit michael-mcdermott.com. A particularly poignant original is called "Shadow in the Window," paying tribute to his father upon his passing.
McDermott's two latest albums are "Out from Under" and "Orphans."
"He tells a story through every song," Miscinski said. "Throughout the show, he'll tell the stories behind the songs – all stuff that happened to him. He's got a great eye for things, a great heart for things. He bares his heart and soul in his songs and music."
For the concert, McDermott, formerly of Willow Springs, will perform on guitar, harmonica and keyboard, while Horton, a noted fiddler, also will join in on guitar.
Miscinski is appreciative of Brauer House donating the use of its concert space. There will be a full bar, and while there's no food service at the concert, the Brauer House restaurant and bar are available for lunch before or dinner after the show.
Speaking at the fundraiser will be a representative of Mercy Home, and a silent auction is planned, offering items for Cubs and Sox fans alike and for runners.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Michael McDermott and Heather Horton in benefit concert
WHEN: 4 p.m. July 28; doors open at 3 p.m. with general admission seating
WHERE: Brauer House's B House Live performance space, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard
COST: $30 for the event for people age 21 and older
INFO: Tickets available through Brauer House at shawurl.com/3bgx