Musicians step up to help Houston

By Paul T. Mueller

Houston – The music community in Texas and elsewhere is stepping up to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane and later Tropical Storm) Harvey. Here is a quick look at just a few of those efforts.

Nashville-based country artist Sarah Peacock , along with fellow singer-songwriter Anna Haas, has organized a Labor Day food and clothing drive at East Nashville Beer Works to collect supplies and donations for storm relief. Peacock is scheduled to headline the LuckenRod car show and music festival on Sept. 9 in the Texas Hill Country town of Luckenbach, and she plans to haul donated goods on her tour bus when she goes. Since the itinerary doesn’t include a stop in Houston or other places directly affected by the storms, Peacock said in a recent interview, she’ll either leave relief supplies at shelters that have been set up in Dallas and Austin or find a way to transfer them for shipment to affected areas along the Gulf Coast. Monetary contributions will be donated to organizations including the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund set up by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, the Houston Humane Society, and possibly others, she said.

Peacock, who grew up in Georgia, said she spent most of last year in the Houston area, including some time on a houseboat on Lake Conroe, north of Houston. She said she still has many friends and family members in Texas, including grandparents in Beaumont, east of Houston, which was also hit hard by Harvey (their home wasn’t flooded, she said).

Peacock is scheduled to travel to the Greater Houston area in November for several gigs, including a Nov. 16 show at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck. That listening room and restaurant/pub took on a few inches of water during the storm, according to Teresa Andrews, one of its owners, but was able to clean up quickly and reopen only a few days later. The Duck will be the site of a Hurricane Harvey Recovery Concert on Tuesday, Sept. 5, with proceeds going to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the Humane Society. The scheduled lineup features some big names in the Houston music scene and some from elsewhere in Texas, including Jack Saunders, Rick Richards, Randy Weeks, Libby Koch, Chuck Hawthorne, Rankin Peters, Tony Kamel, John Egan and The Mighty Orq.

Gio Chamba

Houston’s Cactus Music & Video was the setting for “Houston Hang In There Post-Harvey In-Store Performances” on Saturday, Sept. 2. The store, which regularly features in-store performances by artists representing Americana and other musical genres, suffered minor damage during the storm, as evidenced by several large fans set up continue the drying-out process before the music started. The day’s entertainment began with Galveston-based singer-songwriter Robert Kuhn, who was backed by a four-piece band. Kuhn’s five-song set, a blend of folk and rock, closed with the appropriately titled original “Higher Ground” (not the Stevie Wonder song). Houston-based duo Gio Chamba – guitarist/singer Giovanny Alejandro and percussionist Coffee Guzman – followed with a high-energy set that included Santana-esque guitar pyrotechnics, cumbia and other styles. Also scheduled was a performance by Houston-based multi-instrumental duo Say Girl Say (Brigette Yawn and Suzan Zaghmouth). Proceeds from the event were to go to a GoFundMe campaign called “Trill Funds for Victims of Harvey,” established by Queenie, the wife of Houston-based hip-hop artist Bun B. Houston-based graphic designer Chad Ehlinger created the “Houston Hang In There” logo – proceeds from merchandise with the logo were slated to go to the Houston Flood Relief Fund, a project of the J.J. Watt Foundation, created by Houston Texans superstar defensive end J.J. Watt.

A benefit for Southeast Texas musicians affected by Harvey is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 4, at the aptly named The Americana, a small bar and listening room that opened earlier this year in northwest Houston. “Harmed by Harvey – A Labor Day Benefit for Musicians” begins at 2 p.m.; scheduled performers include Brian Kalinec, April Spain and the Time Bandits, Charles Bryant and others, according to the venue’s owner, singer-songwriter Mark Zeus.

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