Rick Starks said he knew The Bleeders had something special a few years ago when they played an event for the Coalition for Hemophilia B and random people started drifting into the show.
The Bleeders will take the stage for not one, but two, nights this weekend at the Coalition’s annual symposium in Orlando. CSL Behring is sponsoring the final evening event. The band includes drummer Wayne Cook, president of the Coalition; Kevin Harris on lead vocals and guitar; and Ramon Starks, Rick’s brother, on lead guitar. Singer-guitarist-songwriter Shelby Smoak – who also lives with hemophilia – is an occasional player.
They put the band together four years ago and don’t get much time to practice in person because they live in different parts of the United States.
“Over the years, it’s just gotten better and better,” said Starks, of Nebraska.
This weekend, they’ll play three or four full sets, equaling about 40 songs over two nights of performing. They love the blues, classic rock and southern rock. Past performances have included “Mustang Sally,” “Brown-eyed Girl,” “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” and Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.” As a bonus, they’ll do some live band karaoke, too.
Starks, also an expert in Tai Chi, appreciates the camaraderie and the teamwork that goes into playing in a band. You gain some wisdom being on stage and performing together.
“If you hit the wrong note, you can’t dwell on that. You have to go on and keep playing,” he said.
Hear The Bleeders cover “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
On Saturday, before the band goes on, CSL Behring’s Marketing Vice President Bernadine Koziara will open the evening, which will include remarks from pro golfer – and hemophilia patient – Perry Parker. Parker, who plans to talk about his golf career and how his father inspired him, has participated in three U.S. Opens and won five times on the Canadian Tour.