A local musician appreciates all Phoenix has given him. So now he's giving back to Phoenix, planning a concert that benefits the local Salvation Army.
Casey "Case" Herd and his two-man band, Hello July, are bringing their self-described soulful rock sound to Tonic Lounge just outside of Ahwatukee Foothills this Saturday.
Herd, 26, was quite involved in the music scene in Texas - he's originally from Dallas - and spent some time near San Francisco. He was in several cover and original bands, including Bexley, which had some regional success in independent circles, he said.
Herd moved to Phoenix in December for his day job in sales for Pulte Homes. That move was also good for his music; he went on a writing spree and came up with 70 songs since December.
"I felt like a change of pace was good. It was good for me musically because I could separate myself from a lot of distractions," Herd said. "I really wanted to take a break from performing nightly and focus on the creative side of it."
Herd's music is autobiographical, influenced by his mother - "my mom was really the strong fixture in my life" - and growing up in a house with eight women. Herd describes his songs as being about "a lot of relational things" that tell stories from multiple perspectives.
"A lot of artists really try to shine a positive light on themselves. I wanted to shine an honest light on it, even though some of it is kind of incriminating," Herd said.
He's picking the best of those songs for an album slated to come out in December.
And in the meantime, he's giving back to the community. Herd is excited about Hello July's upcoming show at Tonic because it will benefit both the Salvation Army and the new business.
Herd took the lesson "what goes around, comes around" to heart from a young age, and that fuels his passion for giving back. He's committed to giving a portion of the proceeds from all his records to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, both because cancer has touched people in his life and his manager's mother died of breast cancer a few years ago.
But it was also important for him to support a charity that helps local people, since he feels Phoenix has given so much to him. He picked the Salvation Army because they're involved in so many different types of projects.
There will be no cover for the show, but anyone who attends will be asked to donate whatever they can, whether it's $1 or $20, Herd said.
He also turned down the money he would usually earn performing. Instead, about 80 percent of what's raised will go to the charity, with the rest funding equipment rental and paying the musicians helping Herd for the show.
"I'm still going to be able to support myself even if I give," Herd said. "That's why it's important for me to give back. Because I can. Not everyone can."
Herd also hopes the show will benefit Tonic Lounge, a fairly new business right over the Ahwatukee border in Chandler.
Herd met some of the workers and patrons at Tonic by chance, having been called over late one night while he was stopping at a bank next door. He went back the following evening and hit it off with the people there, making several friends.
Now, he wants to "pack the house" so people find out about the venue, he said.
"They're genuinely good people," Herd said. "I try to surround myself with good people."
Hello July's benefit concert starts at 8 p.m. Aug. 7 at Tonic Lounge, 3400 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. Herd plans to play at Tonic on subsequent Saturdays.