My first, but the 3rd annual benefit celebrating the music of Gram Parsons on his birthday. Cover was $10 and proceeds went to the SIMS Foundation, an organization that provides Austin musicians and their families with mental health and/or addiction services.
I really wanted to go to this because, to tell the truth, I am just not that familiar with Gram's music and I know I should be. I only know a handful of his songs. So, I thought this would be a good night to go hear a bunch more of his stuff. I only knew a 1/2 dozen or so of the performers and all others I was not familiar with.
They had a house band and about geez, I don't know, 15 or so different performers. There was never any down time. The artist would come up, do 1 or 2 songs, get off the stage & the next person was up.
It was a fantastic time. I did learn that I do need to become a student of his music. A writer, indeed.
The house band, at times, included Gurf Morlix, Earl Poole Ball, Tom Pittman, Steve Carter, Julieann Banks and Patterson Barrett. Patterson is the person who started this thing and still runs the show. He not only put everything together, but kept it flowing from start to finish, all the while singing, playing guitar, mandolin, keyboards, you name it.
Some of my favorites were there: Ben Mallott along with Jess Klein singing "Return of the Grievous Angel," Jenny Reynolds did a killer "Luxury Liner" and Gurf did a stunning "Wild Horses." Individual members of Stonehoney each did a couple of songs. They were all great but especially off the charts was Phil Hurley and his version of "She." This guy is a howler! Wow!
Heard some new voices. A fellow named Tom Gillam did "Brass Buttons" and all I could think of was how much I liked his voice. Kind of reminded me of Glen Frey and in print that comparison doesn't do Tom justice. Julieann Banks on bass, harmony vocals and lead vocals, too was a blast all night. She has a great stage presence, full of personality, so much fun to watch. Other new to me musicians I'll be looking for are Steve Carter, Freddie Krc, Steve Brooks, Eric Hisaw and truthfully, I've forgotten some. There were just so many!
Suffice to say, it was way more than I expected. Lasted about 3 hours. Everybody came on stage at the end and they did "In My Hour of Darkness," what else? A great finish. I was part of a group of 5 at this show and we all left saying we'd be back next year.