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Toy Drive for Pine Ridge feat. Josh Hoyer & The Soul Colossal w A Late Fall @ Stocks & Bonds
December 5 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm$10
Admission is $10 or an unwrapped toy. 6pm: A Late Fall, 7pm: Josh Hoyer & The Soul Colossal!
The Blues Society of Omaha is proud to be partnering with Lash and his Toy Drive for Pine Ridge for the 15th Year!
(If you can’t attend, please consider donating HERE.
The Toy Drive for Pine Ridge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that collects and delivers toys for children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and raises heating fund donations to purchase propane for elder households.
Our fact sheet provides data regarding issues on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The Toy Drive started in 2003 with Larry Dunn—an Omaha musician also known as Lash LaRue—a friend and a small pick-up truck.
Dunn became aware of the extreme need of the residents after becoming involved on the reservation. The U.S. Census Bureau and BIA list Pine Ridge as the most poverty-stricken area in the United States.
In 2003, Dunn arranged a benefit concert to collect toys for Pine Ridge children. Several of his musician friends agreed to perform at the concert. Approximately $500 in cash was collected, along with a large selection of toys.
The toys were loaded into his friend’s camper pick-up and made the nine-hour trip to the reservation from Omaha. Later, Dunn told of hearing a very small boy say to his mother during the toy giveaway: “See, Mom, I told you Santa wouldn’t forget.”
See, Mom, I told you Santa wouldn’t forget.
Each year has added more concerts and other events, such as radiothons, summer events and concerts outside Omaha. Because of the growth of the Toy Drive, Dunn expanded its reach on Pine Ridge, offering a variety of assistance over the years: providing resources to a medical clinic on the reservation, educational resources for schools, resources for suicide prevention groups and establishing the heating fund.
The Toy Drive currently partners with multiple schools and early childhood centers for the toy giveaways in mid-December, and continues the heating fund each year.
Dunn and the Toy Drive were recognized by the United Way of the Midlands in 2010 at their 55th Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon for representing top community spirit and volunteerism in an ethnic population. The Toy Drive has received corporate grants from the eBay/PayPal Foundation, and continues each year because of outstanding community support.
What began as one person’s wish to provide for children growing up in poverty became an official non-profit organization. An organization that so far has relied heavily on community donations and volunteer efforts to assist residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
“If I don’t go back, I don’t know if someone else is going to,” Dunn said. “There was one year a little boy came up just crying his eyes out, and after a while I figured out all he wanted was a ball. I rummaged around and found him a soccer ball and he spent the whole rest of the day with one arm around the soccer ball and the other arm around my leg, just grinning ear to ear.
“And that’s the stuff that keeps you coming back. Just a soccer ball. I have a hundred stories like that.”
And that’s the stuff that keeps you coming back.
Night after night at their live shows, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal leave it all on the table, bringing crowds palpably authentic music. This is a real working band; music for the people, by the people. You hear the veracity in Hoyer’s voice. You hear the strife of a guitar amp being pushed to its limits. You hear keyboards hammering notes home while emboldened horns soar over the top of a rhythm section akin to a freight train. The raucous funk and smooth soul emanating from the stage dutifully pays homage to the past soul giants while simultaneously charging forward, piloting themselves into the modern era. This is soul music.
Hoyer formed Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal in 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska. The award-winning five-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Joining Hoyer (keyboards/vocals) is Blake DeForest (trumpet), Mike Keeling (bass), Benjamin Kushner (guitar), and Harrison ElDorado (drums). Inspired by the sounds of Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the band continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era, and joins forces each show with a common goal – to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles.
On January 18th, 2019, Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal released Do It Now, their fourth full length studio album. The album was recorded at Silver Street in Ashland, NE and at Make Believe Studios in Omaha, NE. Upon its initial European release in August 2018, the album drew rave reviews from European publications with Blues Magazine stating, “Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal still prove to be at the top of the contemporary soul movement.” The band promoted the album on their second European tour; a 37-city outing spanning 6 different countries. Do It Now is available on vinyl, CD and all streaming platforms.
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal hit the road again in 2018 as they traveled to over 25 states and played numerous festivals across the United States. On January 26th, 2018, Hoyer released The End of the Night, a 3-song EP and solo side project with veteran Nashville songwriters Jay Knowles (Harry Connick Jr, Blake Shelton), and Jon Coleman (Trace Adkins).
In 2017, Josh was featured as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice, and the band completed their first European tour; a 27-city stint capped with a live album release from their show in Brussels, Belgium.The hard working band completed several national tours from 2015-2017, playing more than 150 shows in 32 states each year, including opening for George Clinton, Charles Bradley, Booker T Jones, and Muscle Shoals Revue.
In 2016, the magic of their live show caught the attention of producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo), who joined with the band to record their third full-length album. Running From Love, was recorded at Nashville’s historic Sound Emporium, and once again features Hoyer’s trademark vocals and the band’s signature groove. The album was released on April 8, 2016, on Silver Street Records, and is available on vinyl, CD, and all streaming platforms.
“If James Brown and Otis Redding had a love child, it would be Josh Hoyer. The Lincoln, Nebraska, soul shouter, and his band of merry soulsters, Soul Colossal, deliver a sound so big, so funky, so wring-the-sweat-out-of-you energetic that it reaches through the speakers and shakes you until you start moving to its groove.” – No Depression