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Utah Phillips Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA

01 May 08 - 11:05 AM (#2330627)
Subject: Utah Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: Suzy T.

Hi folks,
If you are, or know people, in the San Francisco Bay Area, please let them know of this concert next Tuesday night!!

an Evening Honoring & Benefiting Utah Phillips
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
a benefit for Utah w/ Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Eric & Suzy Thompson, Larry Hanks, Faith Petric, and Ray Bierl
Door 7:30 P.M., Music 8:00 P.M.
18.50 advance, 19.50 at the door
Freight website:

Please join us for an evening dedicated to raising as much money as possible to help defray the considerable medical expenses of national treasure Utah Phillips. He won't be able to travel and perform again; advanced congestive heart disease is making it necessary for him to live very quietly at his home near Nevada City. Utah long-time friends and admirers Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Eric & Suzy Thompson, Larry Hanks, Ray Bierl and Faith Petric will perform an evening of songs and stories honoring this national treasure. All proceeds from tonight's show go directly to Utah Phillips.

Two of the most acclaimed singers in traditional American music, Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin possess an amazing ability to capture the essence of a song, providing a masterful setting for their soulful harmonies with superb fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin playing. (In the words of Utah himself, "If the great swirling mass of folk music has a solid persistent unwavering center, that is who Kate and Jody are.") They have recorded an entire CD of Utah's songs, "Heart Songs: The Old Time Country Songs of Utah Phillips" (Rounder).

Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum showcase impressive vocal talents, backed by their fabulous fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. Laurie's songwriting and crystal-clear singing have brought her a Grammy and two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. Tom adds his own sparkling musicianship and wry humor, creating an irresistible mix. Utah says: """Laurie Lewis' songs combine passion and sheer craft in a way you don't hear very often. Whatever country music is supposed to be, she's at the center of it."

With equal parts verve and finesse, soulful flatpicker Eric and fiery fiddler Suzy plumb the depths of classic and country blues, as well as French blues from Cajun country and terrific hillbilly ragtime fiddle pieces.

Larry Hanks applies his amazing bass vocals, guitar, and Jew's harp to a unique repertoire gathered during more than four decades on the folk music scene, all rendered, as Utah said, "With fidelity, virtuosity, respect, and a deep abiding love."

Best known for his work with the eclectic Bay Area contradance bands, Hillbillies From Mars and Swing Farm, Ray Bierl is also a longtime folksinger with a impressively broad repertoire, some of which is displayed on his terrific new CD, "Any Place I Hang My Hat". Ray fiddles, strums, and sings his way through a repertoire of songs in a variety of classic American styles, from rockabilly to old-time, from bluegrass to Tinpan Alley.

Faith Petric was born on September 13, 1915 in a log cabin on a homestead near Orofino, Idaho. Real pioneer stuff!! She remembers singing in her preacher-father's church at the age of three, hasn't stopped singing since and has no intention of doing so. She is that rare being of this time, NOT a singer/songwriter. As Utah Philips says,"Faith doesn't make up songs, she harvests them ... these outrageous and wonderful songs, culled from a bevy of extraordinary minds, represent those wild, satirical, quirky, offbeat, and endearing traits that characterize the lady herself."

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1935, Bruce "Utah" Phillips ran away from home at the age of 15 to gain an education on the road, and has spent the past several decades telling the stories and singing the songs of a lifetime spent exploring the lesser-known corners of North America. As befits his checkered past, Utah holds a wide range of honors: he's a Grand Duke of Hoboes, as well as a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance. This self-styled rapscallion, rabble-rouser, and individualist—not to mention tall-tale-spinner extraordinaire—has made dozens of recordings, running the gamut from The Long Memory, his 1997 album with Rosalie Sorrels, to his Grammy-nominated collaboration with rock diva Ani DiFranco, Fellow Workers (Righteous Babe).

Come help us celebrate Utah the most fitting way we can think of: with a good old rousing evening of great stories and music!

You can read updates about Utah's situation, hear podcasts, etc. here:

01 May 08 - 11:18 AM (#2330640)
Subject: RE: Utah Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: open mike

Wonderful line-up! Wonderful cause! Anyone within 200 miles of this should make sure to be there! Is there any chance you might like to video tape the concert? Kendall has a video of a performance he and
Utah did in 2006 in Nevada City/Grass Valley and moments like this
are not to be missed!!

The Freight and Salvage is a wonderful venue, as well!
Thank you Suzi, and everyone for putting this together!!

01 May 08 - 02:49 PM (#2330817)
Subject: RE: Utah Phillips Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: Big Mick

I spoke with Utah last night and to say that he is grateful is understatement taken to a new degree. This wonderful person can't believe all these efforts on his behalf. May I make a suggestion to all of you? Utah is concerned because he has a fair amount of CD's that he would have been selling at his concerts and he is concerned about how to sell them. He sending me a load for the two benefits in Michigan and we are going to sell them there. You can also go to his website and it will show you how to order from him. Let's all make it a point to purchase his CD's and help him out.

And if you are within a few hours of Ann Arbor on May 14, or Grand Rapids on June 4, you can come to our fundraisers.

Congratulations to Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Eric & Suzy Thompson, Larry Hanks, Ray Bierl and Faith Petric and thanks for what you are doing. We take care of our own.

All the best,


06 May 08 - 03:45 PM (#2334275)
Subject: RE: Utah Phillips Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: open mike

refresh--this is tonight...

06 May 08 - 05:18 PM (#2334351)
Subject: RE: Utah Phillips Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: Big Mick

Good luck and have fun.


07 May 08 - 02:48 AM (#2334624)
Subject: RE: Utah Phillips Benefit, Tues. 5/6, Berkeley CA
From: Suzy T.

It was great. Nobody videotaped but it was recorded and we'll send a copy to Utah. As at the other benefits, Bruce (I still think of him that way) spoke to the crowd via the modern miracle of the cell phone. There was an awful lot of fine music, and an awful lot of love for Utah, in that room. Thank you to everyone who came to the concert and/or encouraged others to be there! It sounds like there will be lots more such concerts, in lots of different places -- GOOD!
Suzy Thompson