Chadwick Stokes Talks Charity, Dispatch, And Massachusetts Roots

Chad Stokes Dispatch Rami Abou-Sabe WBZ NewsRadio

(Rami Abou-Sabe/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Chadwick Stokes made a name for himself as the co-founder of Dispatch, the Napster-era folk-reggae band formed at Vermont’s Middlebury College in the mid-90s that spawned campfire hits like “The General” and “Bang Bang.”

As the band’s following grew, so did Stokes’ desire to break the mold of ethereal Americana that Dispatch became known for.

“One of the reasons Dispatch broke up when we did after the Hatch Shell show in Boston back in ’04 was that we kind of had different ideas of what we wanted to do with music,” Stokes told WBZ NewsRadio. “I’ve always felt like I really wanted to play protest music and be a part of something that’s more than the show. I think Calling All Crows has really enabled us to do that.”

Calling All Crows is the nonprofit that Stokes founded in 2008 with his wife, Sybil Gallagher. Their current campaign, dubbed Here For The Music, shines a light on sexual assault that happens within the music industry.

“My wife and I both feel like its part of our mission,” Stokes says. “We started it because we had experienced—in our own crew—some harassment, and we didn’t know what to do or where to turn.”

Stokes and his band The Pintos are set to play the annual Calling All Crows benefit at Boston’s House of Blues on Saturday, marking the culmination of the organization’s Here For The Music campaign after a two-year effort. Calling All Crows offers training and best practice guidelines for those in the music industry that hope to safely stop harassment situations.

From Dispatch, to the protest-band State Radio, and now with the The Pintos, the Sherborn-native has made Boston the final stop on many of his tours over the years.

“The Boston crowd always feels the best to me,” Stokes said. “Particularly on the annual benefit weekend, I think there’s a festive nature to it. We do these things because it’s a dark time of year, so it is great to be with each other and to be in a warm place with a roof over our heads with music and lights. There’s something about it—in the dead of winter playing these shows—that feels extra special.”

Chadwick Stokes & The Pintos are set to headline the 12th annual Calling All Crows benefit show at the House of Blues on Saturday, December 21st at 8:00 p.m.

WBZ NewsRadio's Drew Moholland (@DrewWBZ) reports

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