IN THE NEWS "Strumming for Good Causes"

Eddie Bush_Kyle Petty.jpg

Strumming for Good Causes

Article published on May 19, 2011,  Summerville Journal Scene  – by Jim Tatum

It seems Eddie Bush is lending a helping hand in a lot of places these days. The Summerville musician, while no stranger to giving back to the community, has been busy helping several causes right here in the Lowcountry, including one very close to his heart.

Thursday, Bush took the stage at Red’s Icehouse, Shem Creek, to play for the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, which raises funds for a variety of causes, including Victory Junction, a camp for chronically ill children set up in honor of Adam Petty, Kyle and Pattie Petty’s son who was killed in 2000 while practicing in a Busch series race car at New Hampshire Speedway. The stop and ensuing party at Red’s was the next to last stop for this year’s charity ride, which started in Lake Placid, New York and ended at Amelia Island, Florida.

The Pettys are no strangers to the Charleston area; they have a house at Wild Dunes and consider Charleston a second home, Petty said. It was no random choice to make a stop here, he said.

Petty, who among other talents plays guitar and writes songs, joined Bush onstage for a couple of tunes. “It was incredible,” Petty said. “We did a couple of my songs – we didn’t have a chance to practice them or anything, so I just told him what key they were in – he didn’t have any trouble at all with that. It was great.” Petty said he was deeply impressed with Bush as well. “He’s incredibly talented,” Petty said of Bush. “The music he played was great –right down our alley.” “I was very happy and thrilled to do this gig,” Bush said. “I’m a huge NASCAR and Kyle Petty fan – the Pettys are just good people and I was glad to do anything I could to help them.”

The parallels between Bush and Petty are strong. Bush lost his younger brother, Alex, in a tragic auto accident in December 2010, a couple of days after Christmas. Since then, Bush has worked tirelessly to establish and fund a scholarship in Alex’s memory at the Charleston School of Law, where Alex was a gifted and popular student when he died.
In fact, Alex Bush was an exceptional young man, Eddie said. A student at the Charleston School of Law, he was a person who not only seemed to know everybody, but was universally loved.

“He was that guy – he would help any one anytime and never think of what might be in it for him, or even if there might be any consequences,” Bush said. Because Alex was so passionate about the law, so focused on using his education to help others, and was so well regarded at the law school, Bush said he decided that would be a good place to focus positive energy. Because law school is very expensive these days – tuition at Charleston School of Law runs around $60,000 per year – Bush decided a memorial scholarship would be the best way to honor Alex. The goal is to reach $60,000 this year, and thus far, they are on track to reach it, Bush said.

“It’s a truly a testament to Alex that so many people have stepped up to help,” he said. “It’s really incredible the effect and influence this young man had, the number of lives he touched in his short life.” “I think about Alex every day of my life,” Bush continued. “It’s a terrible tragedy – I lost my little brother and best friend, but this was a young man who touched the lives of so many people. So I could be a bummed out person or I can try to turn negative energy into positive. I chose the latter.”

Bush will also be lending his talents to at least two other causes within the next three weeks.

On May 28, Bush will play the 10th annual Lowcountry Splash, an event which has in the past benefited the Logan Rutledge Foundation. This year, Bush is teaming up with them and the Splash (to be called the Lowcountry Splash Race to ROCK) and the proceeds will be divided between the Logan Rutledge Foundation and the Alex Bush Memorial Scholarship Fund. After the Swim/Splash, Bush will perform at 10 p.m. at Wild Wings, where three items will be raffled, including a kayak/paddleboard, an iPad and a guitar.
On June 2, Bush joins forces with ServiceMaster of Charleston to play a pre-game concert/tailgate party for the 5th Annual Tri-County Firefighter’s Appreciation Day at Brittlebank Park. After the concert, he’ll be driven onto the field of Joe Riley stadium to sing the National Anthem, and then will head up to the SkyBox and perform an acoustic set for ServiceMaster guests.

Betsy Hijazi