WANT TO GO?
Concert for Dick Patton
With Robin Kessinger, Robert Shaffer, Ron Sowell, Jim Snyder, Marco Pinna and more
WHERE: Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
TICKETS: $10 at the door
INFO: 304-661-0655CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At Dick Patton's wake in November, there was a point where mourners broke out the kazoos and played a song.
Jim Snyder, a lifelong friend of the 56-year-old, remembered turning to the preacher and telling him, "I'll bet you've never seen that at a wake before."
Snyder said the preacher looked at him and replied, "No. No, I can't say that I ever have."
On Saturday night, the friends of Patton will come together at the Alban Arts Center in St. Albans to raise money to help reduce the debts the musician left behind. The show features many local singer/songwriters and performers including Snyder, Ron Sowell, Robin Kessinger, Robert Shaffer, Jeff Ellis and Joe Dobbs.
Patton was a regular on the local music scene, mostly seen at open mics held all over the valley. There, Snyder said, he encouraged people to keep playing.
"He was always doing that, always promoting the other guy -- particularly with young people," Snyder said. "He tried to encourage everybody. I know he was always trying to help me keep moving forward."
Snyder said he and Patton met in seventh grade at Nitro Junior High School.
"I was kind of a class clown. He was kind of a class clown. We were always just joking around."
They went their separate ways after junior high because of where each of them lived: Patton went to Poca High School. Snyder went to Nitro. They remained friendly, though, and when Snyder started playing out, he'd see Patton playing some, too.
"He followed me around town for years," Snyder said.
Snyder made a career in music. Patton became an airline pilot.
About 10 years ago, Snyder, who'd left the state, returned to the area. He and Patton started hanging out, talking and playing guitar.
"He was always looking to get something musically going," Snyder said.
In 2006, Patton started an open mic at the old Nitro High School. From there, he went on to host other open mics in Nitro, Hurricane, Elkview and just about anywhere he could get one started. He also performed at others and played gigs here and there, often with friends like Steve Criner.