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November 04, 2013 - Jonathan to perform at a UNA fundraiser in Florence, AL on Thursday
Noiseblock owner and country songwriter Gary Baker is looking forward a concert he has organized.
And not just because he's bringing in country group Lonestar and Journey songwriter and keyboard player Jonathan Cain.
He's also excited because he'll be raising money for the University of North Alabama baseball team.
"Baseball is a very expensive sport, and people don't realize it," Baker said. "And there is very little money that comes in from it. So this is an opportunity for me to do something for UNA, and I really wanted to give something to them."
Baker said the idea came to him when he was thinking about the fall league UNA baseball hosts for local students who don't play a fall sport such as football.
UNA baseball coach Mike Keehn said most of the money will go to the little things that people may not think about. Uniforms, equipment and all the odds and ends that a baseball team needs add up, he said.
Keehn said he grew up listening to hits from Journey and is looking forward to the opportunity to meet Cain, along with members of Lonestar.
"We're honored that (Baker) is working so hard for our baseball program and allow us to get some funds to keep our program running," Keehn said.
"Obviously, having Lonestar and Jonathan Cain associate their celebrity status with us is a big help."
Cain has been a member of The Babys, Journey and Bad English. He wrote songs including Journey's "Don't Stop Believin,' " "Open Arms" and "Faithfully."
Lonestar will perform an acoustic set including songs "I'm Already There," "Amazed" and "My Front Porch Looking In."
"It's going to be a big night," Baker said. "Between them, it'll be like a heavy-weight fight."
Cain said he'll be talking with the audience about his history with Journey and the stories behind the songs he wrote with them.
"It's fun for me to get intimate with the fans and explain just how some of the stuff went down," he said in a telephone interview.
Cain also has a bit of a local connection. He said he played with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Session on a couple of sides back in the '60s.
"My encounter with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Session changed my life," Cain said. "They came in and played my songs and spun me around.
"It was an incredible treat to have those guys playing my songs. They set the bar pretty high, and left me wanting to be that good."
Cain added that he's looking forward to helping and giving back, and said Baker will be giving him a tour of the area.
"I'm looking forward to seeing some of the sights down there," he said. "Hopefully some of it rubs off."
Tickets to the fundraising dinner before the concert, with the concert included, are $1,000 per table of eight, or $125 per seat. Baker said three tables were left as of Wednesday.
Tickets to just the concert are $30.