White Horse hosts benefit concert for Montreat College coach

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
The Karma Mechanics will be joined the Holden Dixon Band for a concert benefiting Montreat College coach Britten Olinger at the White Horse on Sept. 28.

The sound of live music and the spirit of community will blend together at White Horse Black Mountain, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. 

The Karma Mechanics and the Holden Dixon Band will take the stage for a concert benefiting Montreat College coach Britten Olinger, who suffered serious injuries in a collision in the center town. 

"This is the third or fourth concert we've done to support the Olinger family," said Dave Landy, who makes up the Black Mountain-based Karma Mechanics with Hamza Vandehey, Dan Toomey and Scott Jones. "It's something I feel strongly about, because I feel that what happened to Britten could've happened to anyone here that day."

Olinger was driving through the intersection of N.C. 9 and U.S. 70 on a February evening in 2017 when a vehicle traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour crashed into his car. The impact left the coach partially paralyzed. 

In the weeks after the incident, Landy reached out to White Horse owner Bob Hinkle with the idea for a benefit concert. 

"Bob was very supportive, as he always is with community events," Landy said. "We decided to hold a show and give the proceeds to the Olinger family."

The Karma Mechanics are a fixture on the Swannanoa Valley music scene, with their mixture of punk, blues and rock. The band plays regularly at the Seven Sister Tap Room and the Town Pump Tavern. Its roots can be traced back to the White Horse, where Landy and Vandehey met and decided to form the band. 

"We're heading into a stretch where we play three weekends in a row," Landy said. "We've been very fortunate to be supported by the local community, and this show is a chance for us to bring awareness to a situation that is important to us."

Joining the Karma Mechanics will be the Holden Dixon Band, which is headlined by its namesake. 

Dixon is an Asheville singer-songwriter who was previously the founder and lead singer for the band Seaborn. The freelance songwriter, producer and touring performer cites John Mayer, Adam Young, Nick Littlemore, John Mellencamp and Kenny Loggins as influences. 

The support Olinger and his family have received from the community since the crash has been overwhelming, according to the Montreat College track and field and cross country coach. 

"We see so many stories of families who have suffered through something tragic, such as this," Olinger said. "Unfortunately, this injury takes so much from you and your family. However, the support of the community and college has been tremendous. It's allowed us to begin to try to put our lives back together. Without that support, I don't know what things would look like for us today."

Tickets for the show are available online at for $10, or at the door for $12 the night of the show. Students will a valid identification can purchase tickets for $5.