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Russ Morin's friends share the love in a benefit concert

Published on Saturday, March 8, 2014

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A four-band show with all proceeds benefitting Russ Morin was held at the Handlebar Friday night.

A four-band show with all proceeds benefitting Russ Morin was held at the Handlebar Friday night.



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A 1973 Fender Bass was restored to its original beauty and sound for the silent auction.

A 1973 Fender Bass was restored to its original beauty and sound for the silent auction.



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Russ Morin's talents include making ukuleles. The one pictured is a Magnolia Concert Resonator he made and sold.

Russ Morin's talents include making ukuleles. The one pictured is a Magnolia Concert Resonator he made and sold.

I have always been told that music is the language of love.

I found this to be true when four area bands came together at the Handlebar Friday night to honor Russ Morin, one of the most influential people in the upstate’s music and arts industry.

Morin was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer last year. He worked behind the counter at Horizon Records, was a guitarist for bands and is a wood craftsman that makes beautiful ukuleles.

Shawn Williams, guitarist for upstate bands Archer vs. Gunman and Grey Spy, has known Russ for more than 20 years. Williams said he felt compelled to do something to help the man who had, over the years, become a mentor to him and other musicians.

Williams, a Greenville native put together a four-band show with all proceeds benefitting Morin’s recovery.  Williams learned from Gene Berger, of Horizon Records, a silent auction had already been held to aid Morin. A 1973 Fender Bass was restored to its original beauty and sound.

Next up, with Williams participating, was Friday’s “The Friends of Russ” which included music from all genres. The Handlebar’s listening room was full of supporters with amazing energy and affection for Morin.

“Everyone should be lucky enough to know someone like Russ,” said Mike McMillan, owner of Sunshine Cycles in Greenville. Morin would cut wood from his own back yard for his ukuleles and was talented in making them, McMillan said.

McMillan visits Morin weekly and noted his spirits and attitude are excellent, is strong-willed and has amazing family and community support.

Russ Morin is on caringbridge.com and you can visit his website to see the beautiful ukuleles he has made and why he inspired others to do the same.

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