Skip to main content

Branson Sommer family with Twinkle


| Sande Caplin |

Saturday night, September 10 at Robarts Arena was a busy place.  The Sarasota community came together to help 18 month old Branson Sommers who is afflicted with Aniridia, an eye condition that means no iris.  Little Branson has already ungone carteract surgery. Many of the local businesses sponsored the event by purchasing VIP tables.   There was some great plates of BBQ being sold and a full bar in swing.

Some of the Suncoast’s best musicians donated their time to the cause to offer up a night of great entertainment. MC Philip Meyer kept things moving between acts. Starting things off was Steel Relic, a band made up of high school and college young people playing the 80’s! Make no mistake, they were talented and professional.  Playing such covers by artists like Journey, Def Leppard and Michael Jackson, they had the crowd excited to see a young bandrockin’ such classic tunes! Find out more about them at

Steel Relic

Next up was Kim Betts and the Gamble Creek Band with their signature brand of country.  Ms. Betts, daughter of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Sarasota resident Dickey Betts, is an accomplished singer in her own right. Her band gave the crowd a mix of good old country classic turnes along with a bit of country rock. Besides doing her regular gig as a country cover band, Kim is also doing a “Sugarland” tribute band. Jennifer Nettles would love it! Be sure and catch her around locally before she hits the road.  For everything Kim check out her website at

Kim Betts and the Gamble Creek Band

Our very own rockstar darling Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio hit the stage runnin’ and it wasn’t long before Twinkle was barefoot and swinging her mane of hair around to the beat of cover tunes like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC as well as their own brand of rock that is well known in the SRQ and has the audience singing along.  Twinkle, who has worked with the Marshall Tucker Band, Bonnie Bramlett and opened for Aerosmith is one of the best!

Dana Lawrence of Kettle of Fish

Kettle of Fish is another local favorite.  Working their way around the bar circuit with a mix of blues, rock and soul. This jam band changes the lineup often and it keeps things interesting. They have a new CD out “Living on Someday” and lead singer Dana Lawrence opened things up with the catchy “Quite Like You” a song co-written with Sarasota’s John Prestia, now living the music life in Nashville.   The Kettle offered the sounds of steel guitar and bongos in their lineup.  An Allman Brothers cover was on the setlist which is sacred around these parts. You can find out where they are next at

Damon Fowler

Closing out the show was local boy gone national, Damon Fowler.  A brilliant guitarist with a velvet smooth voice, Fowler makes it all look so easy.  A simple three piece band, guitar, bass and drums, brings magic to the blues.  Damon, who started playing around Siesta Key when he as a young 20 something has come a long way to opening for Gregg Allman and touring around the country. Turning it into a jam session, he brought up the Great Southern’s keyboardist and vocalist Mike Kach!  Then just to really amp things up, the guitarist’s guitarist, Greg Poulos and Allman Brother son Berry Duane Oakley.  A great ending to a great night of music!

There were auctions items donated by locals including guitars donated by The Outlaws and Mr. Betts.  All proceeds going to Branson’s family for treatment.

If you couldn’t be there and want to help little Branson, there is a Go Fund Me page at

Skip to content