In August of 2017, when Hurricane Harvey claimed historic levels of damage and suffering in the city of Houston, a group of musicians on Cape Cod decided to do something. Kathleen Healy and Kim Moberg , accomplished musicians and partners in RavenDaisy Productions, teamed up with Folk New England founder Betsy Siggins, CapeSpace and the Houston Food Bank to produce a concert to benefit the relief efforts. The concert was held approximately three weeks later and featured Kate Taylor with Steve Mayone and Jordan Renzi. Here’s the story:
When my friends Kim and Kathleen called and asked if I was interested in collaborating on a benefit concert for the Hurricane Harvey victims I was thrilled to be part of it. But I was even more thrilled when they told me they had landed, with the help of Betsy Siggins, the inimitable Kate Taylor as the headliner, and that she was to be accompanied by the accomplished musician Steve Mayone and opened by the beautiful and talented Jordan Renzi. Three weeks of scrambling produced a sensational evening and a packed house.
I opened the evening with a big thank you to our corporate sponsors who made it possible for 100% of ticket sales to go directly to the Houston Food Bank. A list of these generous benefactors is below and we thank you all again.
Every dollar donated provides 3 meals to those in need.
Next, we heard some welcoming remarks from co-producer Betsy Siggins, a passionate supporter of the folk music tradition. Kathleen Healy provided an update on the relief efforts in Houston, and also led us in a moment of silence to recognize all the other parts of the world that have been affected by devastating natural disasters in the few short weeks since Harvey hit Texas.
Finally, it was time to start the show. WOMR’s Bob Weiser led off with a few more thoughts on the victims and introduced the first musical set to be performed by Jordan Renzi.
Jordan is a popular local artist whose fusion of folk and contemporary soul was influenced by artists like Eva Cassidy, Bob Dylan, Laura Marling and Norah Jones. She is known for a soulful voice and a sensitive songwriting style and has been the recent recipient of multiple awards and prizes for her latest album, Featherbed Lane. She performed a mixture of original and cover songs including one particularly memorable cover of the Van Morrison classic Moondance with a great guitar solo by accompanist Dan Givens. With her warm style and accessible selections, she perfectly primed the audience for the next event. A special thanks to Jordan, who sold 15 CDs at the event and donated all the proceeds to the Houston Food Bank.
When Kate Taylor took the stage the room was electric. She opened with a knockout rendition of the Tommy James classic Crystal Blue Persuasion, and followed up the one-two punch with a rendition of the Etta James song Stop the Wedding in the most spectacular cabaret tradition. She went on to fill her set with charming stories, humor, and musical numbers from her albums, including a version of a Scottish traditional song called Breakfast in Bed on Sunday Morning, complete with Scottish brogue, all backed by Steve Mayone’s killer guitar. She closed with a rollicking version of the Mavis Staple song Don’t Knock which brought the house to their feet. Wow, what a performance.
And if that wasn’t enough, Jordan then returned to the stage along with Kim and Kathleen and they all led a singalong of John Lennon’s Imagine, with Steve Mayone on a sweet mandolin to close the evening.
We have raised $3,100 and counting for the Houston Food Bank, which translates into approximately 9,300 meals for our brothers and sisters in need. You can still donate by clicking the link above and you will can watch the concert on the Cape Cod Community Media Center website for a few weeks at the link below.
Words cannot express our gratitude to Kate, Steve and Jordan for joining us for this special evening. Thanks also to co-organizers Kim, Kathleen, and Betsy; to Bob Weiser our Emcee; to Paula Hersey and her crew from Cape Media; to Palmer Egan and Studio 2 Entertainment; and to my great CapeSpace staff Jeffrey, Katelyn, and especially Anna, the smiling face of CapeSpace who worked tirelessly to help make this event success.
Till we see you again,
Photo gallery below sponsor list.
HUGE THANKS TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS!