"It's crazy how a cause unites so many people," said drummer Michael Dinkins of metal band L.i.E., one of a dozen local groups that will perform a mini-set at the Imperial Theatre.
The concert benefits 12 Bands of Christmas, which was founded in 2001 to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. Proceeds from the concert -- and a CD -- fund research and support families with sick children.
This year's show features Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band; 48Volt; John Kolbeck; Sibling String; Brandon Bower; Carey Murdock & NoStar; The Unmentionables; G-City Rockers; L.i.E.; Will McCranie; My Instant Lunch; and The Crowns.
"It's a little bit of everything," said Dinkins, who moonlights as a drummer while pursuing his Ph.D. in biomedicine at Medical College of Georgia. "Everyone gets behind it. It's such a worthy cause."
The line-up is diverse, and that's a good thing, said Carey Murdock, the singer-songwriter frontman for NoStar.
"Everyone shows up for 12 Bands. The CD appeals to different audiences, and that's what you see on stage," he said.
NoStar revamped Greg Lake's I Believe in Father Christmas for 2010's 12 Bands of Christmas CD, the seventh in the nonprofit's history.
"It was dated. Now, it's got more space in it. It's got some Southern soul," Murdock said.
L.i.E. plays Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. "We camped it up as much as we could in our style. We lampoon it," Dinkins said. "It was ridiculous."
The show will also feature pop classics, such as Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band on All I Want for Christmas Is You, and traditional hymns, such as the Sibling Strings on What Child Is This?
"I remember the very first year I went to 12 Bands," Murdock said.
"It was my introduction to Augusta music. I was inspired. There was this realization that there were viable artists here and this 12 Bands at the Imperial put them all on show."