Ed Roland talks charity, holiday concerts and Collective Soul

When Ed Roland steps on stage, the hair flails, the foot stomps and the vocals soar.

But while he still convincingly rocks fans around the world as the frontman for Collective Soul or engages with his rootsier side band, Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project, Roland also makes time for charity — a lot.

From Monday through Wednesday, he’ll commandeer Eddie’s Attic as he has during the holidays for the past decade with an array of guests. Collective Soul will perform (and some new songs are expected) Monday for a show benefiting the TJ Martell Foundation; the Sweet Tea Project plays on Tuesday with proceeds going to Pets for Vets; and on Wednesday, Roland, who estimates he’s written almost 120 songs for Collective Soul, will do “songs that I never get to play,” he said recently during an interview at his Sandy Springs home. That night’s proceeds will be presented to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

In addition to money raised from ticket sales, Roland — who matches the proceeds from the door — will also auction off a guitar.

“It’s ‘Ed Roland and Friends,’” he said, “but it really is a group effort from Collective Soul and from Sweet Tea (Project).”

Here are three things to know about the concerts:

1. Roland likes to augment each show with performances from upstart musicians: “There are a couple of artists from Nashville and another band from Nashville (who will perform). That’s one of the beautiful things I love about (the concerts). I’ve been so blessed in my life that it’s kinda fun to introduce these other artists … they haven’t had an opportunity to be heard and for me to have 160 people in (Eddie’s) packed and listening, just to see their eyes … I can remember that as a young artist. I love to be able to watch their eyes and watch their talent as they relate to the audience.”

2. In addition to buying a ticket, Roland has another charitable request: “Bring socks to the shows. That’s what homeless people need. Just cheap, tube socks. They can use them as hand warmers, for their feet, and we’ll ride down to the shelter after the three nights (and deliver them). I promise, I’ve been there, it means a lot.”

3. Roland’s philosophy about charity: “Being a giving person year-round. Giving goes so many different ways. It’s not just material goods. Sometimes (just) listening. The best gift ever given to me personally, I went through a hard time and having a friend sitting there listening to me ramble was the greatest gift. … Be aware of your surroundings. Life will go really smooth.”


Ed Roland and Friends

7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-21. $25-$32. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 1-877-435-9849, www.ticketfly.com.

About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on ajc.com, and she remembers...