Local band plays to benefit friend

The Ben Miller Band performs every Monday at the Kitchen Pass.

Special to the Chart

The Ben Miller Band performs every Monday at the Kitchen Pass.

Rebecca Watts

Performing to aid a close friend, the Ben Miller Band and G-Spot played for a cancer benefit Jan. 20 at the Kitchen Pass Restaurant and Bar.

The Ben Miller Band has performed for benefits like Children’s Center, the First Steps Program and the Joplin Humane Society. Miller said they enjoy performing for benefits. The event helped Glenda Busick, director of disaster services for the Salvation Army, who was diagnosed last September with breast cancer.

Throughout the evening, there were silent and live auctions and a raffle. Subway donated sandwiches, which were served during the G-Spot performance. Local businesses donated various items like appliances, gift certificates and leather jackets.

“We’ve had everything from pots and pans to transmission service,” Busick said.

When Busick was diagnosed, she called her sister, Janet Besse, who didn’t believe it at first. Immediately, Busick began treatments, and for the first time in her life began receiving help instead of giving.

“I have such a big support system,” Busick said. “It’s difficult, but these guys have really stepped up to the plate.”

Busick is known as “Ma” by band member Doug Dicharry. He provides vocals, washboard, bass and drums. Busick supports the Ben Miller Band and travels to see some of their performances.

“These guys are family,” she said.

Dicharry said she has taken care of him and other band members as if they were her own children. Miller, the lead singer, guitar, harmonica and drums, is dating Busick’s daughter, Jenifer.

Miller and Busick said the pace of undergoing treatments has been a fast one, but health care is not cheap. Busick has insurance but she has a $15 co-pay with every doctor’s appointment at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. She has appointments approximately three times each week. She is undergoing 33 treatments at $15 each. After the chemotherapy, she will start radiation therapy.

Along with additional payments, like prescriptions, Busick recently was informed the treatments will start over again this month.

“I have a good team of doctors,” she said.

When Busick sits in the waiting room, she said she is meeting people who are going through the same thing, and recognizes the same people in the offices. She says to know people who have survived gives her hope.

“I’m starting to meet a lot of people with relatives who are long-term survivors,” Busick said. “You can beat yourself up by asking yourself why, but there’s no signs or any family history of this happening,” she said.

Busick recommends for all women to have a mammogram at the age of 30. She also wanted everyone to attend the performances and have a good time.

There is no particular style or single type of sound for the Ben Miller Band’s music. When asked what kind of music they play, Miller generally asks back what kind it is to the listener. He says the style is always changing between bluegrass, gospel, country and hip-hop.

“You can slow dance to it, kick up your feet or break dance to it,” Dicharry said. “It’s a fusion of alternative. We don’t really know.”

Ben Miller Band fans can expect a new CD appearance within the next few months. Miller said the band has attempted a studio recording, but it didn’t catch the sound or the feel the band wanted.

“We’re just a hard-working band from Joplin,” Miller said. “We’ve had a great reaction to our music everywhere we’ve gone.”

For more information on the Ben Miller Band persons may visit their Web site on Myspace or www.benmillerband.com or contact Doug Dicharry at 417-439-0331.