Helping Haiti, Austin Style – Sunday, January 25, 2010; Austin Music Hall
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Joe Ely was talking to Doug Moyes, from our local venue, The Backyard, asking who was going to have a benefit for Haiti. And Doug told him, “You are.” Once Joe found appropriate phone numbers, he and his manager, Lance, put out the calls. At first he heard nothing. Then, as he put it, the show went from a 2 hour to a 4 hour concert, to a 6 hour, and ultimately a 10 hour show.
Here’s an Austin lineup for you: Asleep at the Wheel, Patricia Vonne, Guy Forsyth, Paula Nelson, the Band of Heathens, Bob Schneider, The Flatlanders, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Robison, Kelly Willis, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Gourds, Reckless Kelly, The Joe Ely Band, Marcia Ball, Robert Earl Keen, and Charlie Sexton.
I, for one, could do “only” 7 hours of it, meeting up with friends Dee Dee, Lisa, and Rayelin, arriving for the end of the Flatanders set.
There was too much to itemize, plain and simple. But I’ll mention a few highlights for me:
Ray Wylie Hubbard, with his 15 or 16 year old son Lucas on lead guitar, rocking us to the likes of Snake Farm, Drunken Poet’s Dream, and Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo; The Gourds taking us on a trip from a rootsy version of Gregg Allman’s Midnight Rider to a medley that went from Cupid to Surrender to Gin and Juice; great songwriter sets with Bruce Robison, with Kelly Willis; Reckless Kelly with a brotherly guest from Mickey and the Motorcars, doing Hold the Bottle, Hold the Wheel( and I loved David Abeyta on guitar!); Shawn Colvin sounding lovely and doing a great Lefty Frizzell cover; Robert Earl Keen and Rich Brotherton bringing on their new Rose Hotel tunes, and Charlie Sexton straight from an NBC show, which I believe was the larger Haiti benefit starting out with Help and moving into some serious blues.
Joe Ely not only did a fine set on his own, with a solo, and appropriate, Dig All Night, and the whole gang including Lloyd Maines doing Lonestar Boxcar Blues and Billy Joe Shaver’s Live Forever, but he joined in various other sets – including helping REK on The Road Goes On Forever — a song they both know well — and also joining Reckless Kelly on Ain’t She Fine, as well as the latest historic Flatlanders set.
Marcia Ball sang a very heartfelt song I would title Wish You Well with Joe Ely’s band, and they rollicked together with I Keep My Fingernails Long.
At the very end, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, nd a percussionist named Dave joined Charlie Sexton, as they took it home. Through it all, Turk Pipkin and local DJs from KGSR and KVET helped out as emcees. There was also a great silent auction, BBQ from the Salt Lick, and even TVs for the NFL playoffs. Another one for the history books.