Update: On Monday, the Manchester Township career firefighters donated $5,600 in proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, with the bulk of the money raised at the September concert featuring Bucky Covington.
Other money was raised at Starbuck’s, Rita’s Celebrity Scoop, and guest bartending at Maewyn’s as part of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local #3503 “Fill the Boot” efforts for 2012.
Previous blog: Bucky Covington might have gone five years between albums, but he didn’t appear to have missed a beat in York County on Sunday.
Made famous by Season 5 of American Idol, Bucky was performing in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd at Cousler Park in Manchester Township.
After Idol, Bucky released a hit album in 2007 that yielded no fewer than three top 20 country singles.
But in part because of what he calls a “contractual catch-22″ (read his earlier interview with Idol Chatter here), his sophomore album, “Good Guys,” didn’t land until earlier this month.
In between, Bucky got involved with Help the Good Guys, a nonprofit that raises money for firefighters injured in the line of duty.
That affiliation brought him to the area for another good cause, a Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraiser organized by the career firefighters of Manchester Township.
After Bucky’s 15-song set, organizer Chris Mowry pronounced the event a success, saying $4,000 in cash had been raised through the day’s fill-the-boot campaign. That’s $1,000 more than the group had hoped for.
That news brought Bucky back onstage for an encore, a raucous performance of “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” as fans flocked forward for photos and autographs and his three opening acts — Kayla Kroh, Lindsey Erin and Brittany Opperman — joined in.
Earlier, Bucky took the crowd back in time, performing some of the best-known songs from his debut album, including “A Different World,” “Back When We Were Gods” and covering “Suspicious Minds.”
He also told a few jokes, telling the crowd that somehow, he became known as “the funny one” among the Season 5 Idol cast. Which, he said, worked fine until a member of the media would ask him to tell a joke.
You see, Bucky grew up working in his father’s auto body shop. And while he heard lots of jokes there, none were clean enough to repeat. At least not to the media.
Not all his jokes worked with the crowd on Sunday, but his music seemed to.
That was especially true when he went up-tempo for the last quarter of his set, performing the single-sounding “Mama Must Be Prayin’” from his new album, covering Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” followed by “It’s Good to Be Us,” one of the aforementioned hits.
He rounded out his official set by turning his rowdy new single, “Drinking Side of Country,” into an audience participation number.
As for the audience, 22-year-old Alexis Lindo of York said that, in addition to Bucky, the beautiful weather and the good cause convinced her to turn out for the show.
But not everyone who did so was local.
Karri Nolan and Cathy Anne Cedendino are members of the Bucky Covington Fan Club and traveled all the way from New York for Sunday’s concert.
“I always thought he had a nice voice, but he’s also a very nice guy,” said Karri, who said she’s met him several times.
“He’s very real. He’s very polite. … He’s not phony and he’s extremely appreciative (of his fans),” added Cathy Anne, who estimated she’s been to about 60 Bucky Covington shows.
Then there’s Heidi Gerhart, 19, of Ephrata, Pa., who once waited five hours to meet Bucky at an event in Nashville.
She and her family and friends arrived at 8:30 a.m. for Sunday’s 4 p.m. show, just to make sure they had seats front and center.
When the concert ended and Bucky was still signing autographs and posing for photos with fans, she left no doubt the wait was worth it.
“He was amazing,” she said.
Set list: 1. A Different World; 2. Back When We Were Gods; 3. Suspicious Minds (cover), 4. A Father’s Love; 5. I Wanna Be That Feeling; 6. Gotta Be Somebody; 7. Mexicoma; 8. I’m Good; 9. The Ride (cover); 10. Hold a Woman; 11. I’ll Walk; 12. Mama Must Be Prayin’; 13. Another Brick in the Wall (cover); 14. It’s Good to be Us; 15. Drinking Side of Country. Encore: Keep Your Hands to Yourself.