Denizens of The Treehouse know Joe Peppercorn as a friendly bartender, open mic host and frontman for elusive folk-rockers The Whiles. All those roles were jeopardized last January when Peppercorn awoke to debilitating pain and loss of feeling in his hand. Tests revealed a ruptured disc in his neck, the product of years of deterioration.

Denizens of The Treehouse know Joe Peppercorn as a friendly bartender, open mic host and frontman for elusive folk-rockers The Whiles. All those roles were jeopardized last January when Peppercorn awoke to debilitating pain and loss of feeling in his hand. Tests revealed a ruptured disc in his neck, the product of years of deterioration.

Peppercorn had spinal fusion surgery in March, racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills, then lost almost two months of work while recovering. He had no way to dig himself, his wife and their two-year-old son out of debt, so his friends from the bar took over.

Treehouse co-worker James Fisher booked a two-night lineup featuring a dozen Treehouse favorites, including heavy hitters like Two Cow Garage and The Receiver, to help cover Peppercorn's bills.

"I'd be losing my mind right now if it wasn't for this," Peppercorn said. "This is really kind of a game-changer."

Photo credits: Eric Wagner