Studio Session: Avalon Park raises awareness for autoimmune disease—with rock n' roll
This week on Kaleidoscope, WYSO music director Juliet Fromholt hosted a live studio session with Avalon Park. On Saturday, February 24, the Dayton band is set to play a benefit concert for the Autoimmune Association at Yellow Cab Tavern, alongside Neo American Pioneers and The Boxcar Suite. On Kaleidoscope, husband and wife songwriting duo Charlie and Amanda Jackson of Avalon Park performed several songs from their forthcoming album live on air. They also spoke with Juliet about changing their band’s name and musical style, and Amanda described the medical diagnosis that led her to organize a show to raise funds for autoimmune disease awareness.
When Charlie and Amanda Jackson last visited Kaleidoscope in July 2020, they were celebrating the release of their debut album, The King and Queen of Dayton Country, on Magnaphone Records. At the time, the duo simply billed themselves as Charlie and Amanda, and, as the album’s title suggests, they primarily played country songs. That changed when their teenage son joined the band. “It’s grown to be more than just the two of us,” Amanda told Juliet, “Our son has taken up as full time bass player for our band, and stylistically, we’ve changed a lot.” The band traded its country twang for a ‘70’s rock sound influenced by The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Fleetwood Mac, retooling or retiring the old Charlie and Amanda repertoire in favor of new arrangements. In August 2023, they officially renamed the band Avalon Park.
Charlie and Amanda also discussed their upcoming performance at Yellow Cab Tavern, a rock n’ roll benefit concert to raise funds for the Autoimmune Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to autoimmune disease awareness, advocacy, education, and research. The couple was inspired to organize the show after Amanda received a diagnosis in 2022 for Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s moisture-producing glands. Amanda said she was surprised to learn how many people experience autoimmune disorders, many of which go undiagnosed or untreated. “I just kind of went down the rabbit hole of learning about all these other autoimmune disorders,” she said. “There are so many out there, and there have probably been so many people that have been living with something that didn't know they had, or just living with it knowing they did have it. Sometimes they still haven't been diagnosed, they just know they have something.” When Amanda asked other local bands impacted by autoimmune disease if they would be interested in playing a benefit show, the response was overwhelming.
“I wanted to raise money for the Autoimmune Association, so I got other bands that are associated with that—they either have somebody in the band with an autoimmune disorder, or they're very close to somebody who has one. I went ahead and I asked those bands, and they were happy to come out and do the show with us….It did feel good. I'm not going to say any names, but I know that some of the musicians that are going to be a part of it were actually very excited for this show because of the fact of raising the money for the Autoimmune Association.”
The Autoimmune Association benefit at Yellow Cab Tavern will begin at 7:00pm on February 24. Tickets are available in advance at or at the door. Avalon park’s next performance will be on April 6th at Tipp City’s Eclipse Party during the 3-4pm time slot. For information about upcoming shows and releases, follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Text by Peter Day, adapted from a live studio session recorded by Juliet Fromholt on February 7, 2024.