Hundreds pay homage to midstate musicians at Sunday benefit

Several hundred people filled the backyard of The Big House Sunday afternoon, listening to Southern rock and paying homage to local musicians Gregg and Tim Brooks.

Folks young and old alike turned out, carrying bag chairs on their shoulders. Most sought out shady areas on the hot afternoon to hear several bands and artists with Macon ties perform.

Proceeds from gate fees, a silent auction and T-shirt sales will benefit Gregg Brooks, who is suffering from cancer.

Terry Reeves, president of Music Matters Entertainment, said she helped organize the event soon after learning of Brooks’ illness.

Brooks, like most musicians, doesn’t have health insurance, Reeves said.

“We’re extremely pleased,” she said of the turnout. “It’s a testament to Gregg and Tim Brooks and who they are and how they’re loved.”

The event also was a memorial for Brooks’ brother, Tim, who died May 20.

The Brooks Brothers, also known as The Brothers Brooks, played Southern rock much like the Allman Brothers Band, who called The Big House home in the early 1970s. Located on Vineville Avenue, The Big House is now an Allman Brothers Band museum.

The Brookses began playing in the 1970s, in the same time frame as the Allman Brothers, said Robert Schneck, executive director of The Big House Museum.

Schneck said the museum donated its property for the benefit at no cost.

“It felt right to do it here,” he said.

After recording an album in the 1990s and touring the United Kingdom, the brothers returned to Middle Georgia and played local venues, creating a great following, said Ron Holland, artist relations manager for Georgia Music Channel, an online music website dedicated to Georgia artists.

Sunday was an opportunity for fans and friends to give back to an artist who participated in benefit concerts and helped further other musicians’ careers.

“Gregg donated so much of his time to other people ... he would play a venue and not charge a dime” for a benefit, Holland said. “He loves music and he loves to see people in the crowd enjoy it.”

Brooks sat beneath a shade tree near the stage during a portion of Sunday’s benefit, greeting friends and fans and listening to the music.

Donations still are being accepted to help pay Brooks’ medical costs. To donate, email Reeves at treeves@musicmattersentertainment.net.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.