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Lisa Needham and her husband Rich Wyman will perform a benefit concert for Peace House at Riffs Acoustic Music on March 1. (Photo by Cynthia Sandoval)
Riffs Acoustic Music is teaming with Park-City based musical duo Rich Wyman and his wife Lisa Needham to raise money for Peace House, a nonprofit organization that provides a safe haven for victims of domestic violence.

On Friday, March 1, the duo will perform an "Evening 4 Peace," at Riffs, 1205 Iron Horse Dr.

The idea for the concert was originally a way for Needham and the ASCAP Award-winning Wyman to perform together.

"Lisa and I have been talking about doing more shows together as a couple," Wyman said during an interview with The Park Record. "We have wanted to get away from the notion of me backing her or her backing me. We want to share the stage on equal terms with her doing some things and me doing other things and the both of us doing more together."

Since Wyman was a fan of Riffs, he contacted owner Larry Hart, who liked the idea.

"Then I mentioned making it a benefit and Larry was all up for it," Wyman said. "It was a slam dunk, and within a five-minute conversation, it was a done deal."

Wyman and Hart decided the show would benefit Peace House and contacted its executive director Jane Patten, who liked the idea.

Wyman put together two set lists with songs about friendship and strength.

"For me it was about songs about the issues that Peace House represents," he said. "We chose songs about people who are there when you need them and vice versa.

"So, we'll do songs like 'Lean on Me' and songs that I wrote like 'Incredible Day,' which I wrote about a friend who had suffered a brain aneurysm," Wyman said. "He was in a coma and I wrote the song on the day he proved the doctors wrong who said he would never wake up, because he woke up."

Before the music starts, there will be a reception.

"The Windy Ridge Café and Bill White Enterprises will donate some appetizers, so we'll have some wonderful food," Wyman said. "And since the concert is 'bring your own beverage, people can bring whatever they want and party until we start the music."

Hart said the concert is a way for him as a local merchant to give something back to the community.

"It's important to me to connect with the residents," he said. "It creates good will, and, in my opinion, good will leads to good business."

Hart is no stranger to hosting fundraisers.

"We do three or four of them every year," he said. "We have one in April we do for Recycle Utah and we have one in the winter for Peace House and we do one for Friends of Animals Utah and Habitat for Humanity. All these events are a continuing effort that we focus on every day here at Riffs, which is to create more goodwill as people and a business."

Hart, Patten and Peace House Development Manager Ann Johnson talked about how much they should ask as a donation for admission and $30 was the magic number.

"That way, if we don't sell out, it will still take the pressure off of trying to fill up the house and still make the donation meaningful," Hart said.

Since Riffs is a relatively small venue, reservations are strongly suggested.

"We do that for two reasons," Hart said. "The first is that we want to make sure we have a head count because the reservation list becomes a guest list and turns into a private party."

Secondly, Hart wants to make sure we can seat everyone.

"If someone shows up without a reservation, they most likely won't get in and may walk away disenchanted with us," he said. "And we don't want that."

Reservations can be made by calling (435) 647-1940 or by sending a message through the Riffs website at www.riffspc.com .

"I've been a fan of Riffs since it opened and I love what Larry has been doing as a local music store," Wyman said. "I would like to see Riffs become a mecca for young musicians, old musicians and touring musicians."

Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr., will present "Evening 4 Peace," featuring Rich Wyman and Lisa Needham on Friday, March 1. For more information, visit www.riffspc.com.