STILLWATER – Several top red dirt musicians will play a benefit show tonight at Eskimo Joe’s on behalf of No Justice lead vocalist Steve Rice.
The singer/songwriter/acoustic guitarist for the Stillwater-based band is recovering after undergoing three emergency surgeries last week, according to a news release.
Rice arrived at the emergency room in Stillwater on March 18 complaining of
chest and stomach pains. Doctors determined he was suffering from an enlarged gallbladder that was described by the doctors as one of the worst cases they had seen, according to the release.
Rice’s gallbladder was successfully removed the following day, but his chest pains continued. A slew of tests and X-rays revealed a significant amount of fluid around the singer’s heart resulting from a viral infection, according to the release. Rice was rushed by ambulance to an Oklahoma City hospital, where doctors withdrew more than a liter of fluid from the sack around his heart.
That evening, Rice took a turn for the worse, coming down with a serious fever. Fluid was building around his heart again and also in his lungs, as he was additionally suffering from pneumonia. Rice underwent yet another surgery where doctors successfully removed the fluid for the second time.
Rice is recovering at home this week and is reported to be feeling much better, according to the release.
“The Big Man upstairs took care of me. He obviously has big plans for my life,” Rice said in the release.
The band’s concert dates have been canceled this weekend. For updates, follow the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/band.nojustice.
“Thanks to everyone for the prayers, thoughts, and support,” No Justice founder/manager Jerry Payne posted today on the band’s Facebook. “We are very thankful that Steve is doing better and is at home. On Steve’s road to recovery, it is absolutely vital that he get the appropriate amount of rest the next few days. As he gains his strength back, he will be in touch, and is excited to talk to everyone. Again, many thanks to each and everyone of you!!”
Several Oklahoma musicians will play at 7 tonight at a benefit show at Eskimo Joe’s, 501 W Elm in Stillwater. The lineup includes Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/musician John Fullbright, the Red Dirt Rangers, Jake Moffat Band, Bo Phillips, Chad Sullins and the Last Call Coalition, JJ and Scotte Lester of The Great Divide, Ryan Reid and Val Joe and the Strike Anywheres.
“We almost lost our buddy Steve Rice to what should have been a routine surgery. Now that he’s back with us he’s got some pretty monstrous bills to pay,” Fullbright said on Facebook.
Proceeds will go to Rice’s medical expenses and help keep the hard-touring band functioning until it can resume live shows. The event is sponsored by Miller Lite.
“Although it’s last minute, we’re hoping as many people as possible can attend,” said the members of the Red Dirt Rangers on their Facebook page.
Donations also can be sent to the nonprofit Red Dirt Relief Fund, 3910 West 6th St. #252, Stillwater, OK 74074. For more information or online donations, go to www.reddirtrelieffund.org.
No Justice has long been a staple in the Oklahoma/Texas music scene. The decade-old band has released five acclaimed records and has generated two No. 1 hits and eight Top 10 singles on the Texas Music Chart. In December, No Justice released its fifth album, “America’s Son,” on Smith Music Group. The album debuted on the Billboard chart the first week of its release.
To read my recent interview with Rice about “America’s Son,” click here.