One Good Thing: Rocks for Socks

Oh God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small

No one has to look far to find where the sea has swamped the boat. From a recently widowed neighbor to earthquake victims in Mexico to millions made homeless by a hurricane in Puerto Rico/ Houston/ Florida, the needs of so many feels overwhelming. We look at our own needs – hopefully counting our own blessings while we’re at it – and think, I can’t help all these people. There are too many. What good will a dollar here and there do? 

In late 2015 a local musician named John Kirk rang up his buddy and fellow musician Joseph Blythe. Friends since high school in Red Bluff back in the 1970s, John had an idea; Joe was the guy who could make it happen.

John had heard there was a need for sock donations for the homeless and needy population. “Well, that’s what we need to work on, then,” John said in an interview on Local Motion, a radio show on KKRN. “The one thing that they are getting the least of. Maybe we can change that, those numbers.” The two musicians came up with Rocks for Socks, a benefit concert where the audience pays admission with socks. “Of course we take any kind of warm clothing for the homeless and the less fortunate citizens in our area.” All donations are given to the Good News Rescue Mission for distribution.

That first concert in January 2016 was at the now-sadly-closed California Brewing Company in Palo Cedro, where they packed the place from 10 AM to 10 PM. Joseph said, ” [That show] was a complete success. The people came together. They brought in – oh, we had almost a thousand items of warm clothing, everything from jackets, pants, a ton of socks. And we found out later, when we turned the socks in, that the rescue mission does this sock exchange thing where if you come in and you’re homeless, they have a nurse that will look at your feet and they’ll give you a new pair of socks.” The second Rocks for Socks in October 2016 was even more successful, garnering 1327 items of warm clothing.

2017’s Rocks for Socks is scheduled for Saturday, October 14 at Final Draft Brewing Company. Five bands, sound crews are volunteering their time and talent (there is a Gofundme site for donations toward catering costs to feed the bands). Tracy Goschke of California Brewing Company still donates her time to help catering.

Scheduled to play are:

Still Married – 1:00 PM
Premonition – 3:00 PM
Diesel Horse – 5:00 PM
The Stone Hearts – 7:00 PM
Triple Threat – 9:00 PM

It won’t fix every problem, but a dry pair of warm socks will make a real difference to someone. Multiplied by as many people as can fit into Final Draft, well, that’s a lot of warm clothing for those who will suffer the most in the coming winter. Donate something that keeps people warm and get to hear some great music in exchange – what’s not to like?

Thanks to Joseph Blythe, Hal Johnson, and Shane Hutchins at KKRN for help in writing this article.

Barbara Rice
Barbara Rice is's administrative assistant. She grew up in Igo listening to the devil's music, hearing tales of WWII, and reading James Thurber and Mad Magazine while dreaming of travel to exotic lands. She graduated from Shasta High School, Shasta College, and San Francisco State University. After too many blistering Sacramento Valley summers, she's traded it all for the ocean breezes of Humboldt County. She's been told she's a bad influence and that makes her very happy. She tweets, travels, and spoils cats. There's a dance in the old dame yet.
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7 Responses

  1. Deb Deb says:

    This. Is. AWESOME. Such a simple thing, with such a large impact.

  2. We love Final Draft! Craig and I are honored and excited to be part of this year’s Rocks for Socks line-up. We’re planning an hour of original tunes, and after our set, I will be enjoying a spicy bacon-lettuce-avocado- tomato wrap sandwich – because it is one of the Best. Things. Ever. Really. C’mon down – let’s pack the place.

  3. Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

    This is such a fantastic idea and will help so many people immediately. Thank you for telling us about this!

  4. Avatar Erika says:

    What a fabulous idea!

  5. Avatar Grammy says:

    Just wish that all the clothes that the homeless receive didn’t end up as land fill. I know they have no way of washing the clothes and are giving new one all the time but they end up as litter on the river side. Takes volunteers (because the homeless sure do not clean up after themselves, where would they put it?)
    See both side of the coin. The need and the result.

  6. Avatar Mark Frese says:

    A big round of applause and thanks to John Kirk and Joe Blythe for putting this great program together and keeping it going. Great event, great cause, great music. The Stone Hearts are honored to be a part of it and look forward to rocking out this Saturday at Final Draft!

  7. Big Bike Weekend is proud to be partnering with John & Joe for the 2017 Rock for Socks which will be October 13 at the Shasta Fair & Event Center. Great music, lots of food vendors, merchandise, bikers can dyno their bikes, gem & mineral followers can visit their show and the strongman enthusiasts can catch this year’s competition. One great venue with so much to do.