Desmelik organizes Asheville-area musicians into Army of Love for benefit


Brevard-based singer-songwriter Dave Desmelik works as hard as anyone I know to benefit his community. Here’s a perfect example: Dave wrote and recorded 11 amazing tunes, then asked an all-star cast of Western North Carolina musicians to record those songs for an album collection, the proceeds of which will go to fight childhood illness.

On Dec. 9, Mountain Song Productions and The Grey Eagle will present Desmelik with an Army of Love, an album release and benefit show for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Make A Wish Central and WNC and Angel Flight Soars.

The songs on Army of Love are sung by the following: Amanda Anne Platt (Honeycutters), Michael Ashworth and Mike Guggino (Steep Canyon Rangers), Andrew Scotchie, Jay Brown and Aditi Sethi-Brown, Alexa Rose, Jimmy Davidson and Rob Brown (The Worthless Son-in-Laws), Melissa Hyman and Ryan Furstenberg (The Moon and You), Aaron Woody Wood, Laura Blackley, Jane Kramer, and Shannon Whitworth. Additional musicians are Andy Gibbon, Josh Gibbs, and Derrick Gardner.

Here’s more about Dave and his background, which helps explain his passion for this project:

Dave Desmelik is a journeyman songwriter and musician. His wife is Clare and their two sons are Holmes and Vincent. Dave and Clare’s oldest son, Holmes has an inoperable brain tumor. He was diagnosed in June of 2014 at age 5. These songs were written during the summer of 2017 after watching their child go through intensive chemotherapy, surgeries, countless doctor appointments, and too much time for any kid to spend in hospitals. Along the way, Clare and Dave realized that although there is no cure for brain cancer, there is hope. Hope is powerful. This collection of songs revolves around pediatric illness and covers a wide range of emotions from anger and confusion to love and compassion.

Dave knew right away that although he wrote these songs, he was not the one to sing them. He wanted to involve more people, so he turned to some of his fellow musicians and friends in the Western North Carolina region for this project. Unbeknownst to them, the Desmeliks started calling them “Army of Love.” The truth is that the “Army of Love” includes anyone who supports and cares for kids dealing with life-threatening battles.