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Rock, pop, country acts give talents and time to help Oklahoma tornado victims

by Brandy McDonnell Modified: May 24, 2013 at 8:45 am •  Published: May 24, 2013
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kenny Wayne Shepherd

A version of this story, which I co-wrote with my excellent colleague George Lang, appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.

Sound giving
Rock, pop and country acts give their talents and time to help Oklahoma tornado victims

Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd remembers what it’s like. He grew up in Shreveport, La., and has vivid memories of the sky turning a sickly color and the winds suddenly whipping up around his town. In fact, a few days before Monday’s EF-5 tornado displaced thousands of residents in Moore and took the lives of 24 people, four tornadoes came within striking distance of Shepherd’s birthplace in northwestern Louisiana.

“It’s kind of part of the ‘Tornado Alley’ area,” Shepherd said in a phone interview Wednesday from his home in California. “I have very vivid memories of being a kid and the storms come rolling through town. It gets very quiet, everything looks really green and then all of a sudden — without any notice, really — the tornadoes come. I remember hiding in the bathroom and doing the drills in school.”

It all struck home for Shepherd. With a concert already scheduled for June 7 at the Diamond Ballroom, Shepherd felt the only way to go was to give all he could. Now, his concert will be a benefit show with all proceeds going to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s tornado relief efforts.

“I don’t think we could come there with a sound conscience and not do something to help,” Shepherd said. “So this is completely a benefit concert. I’m not getting paid and my band’s not getting paid. We want 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit the community. And that’s also why we chose the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, because we wanted it to be a local organization and I believe 96 cents of every dollar actually goes back into the community.”

From country superstars and red dirt rockers to local art-pop heroes and acclaimed Americana scribes, an array of Oklahoma musicians, venues and even local comedians already are planning benefit shows on behalf of victims of this week’s deadly tornadoes. Some are converting already scheduled concerts into charity events, while others have been burning midnight oil and social media communication lines to create fundraisers from scratch.

Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton

Ada native Blake Shelton told Billboard Tuesday night he and NBC have begun organizing a televised benefit concert. The Tishomingo resident is a celebrity coach on the network’s hit reality show “The Voice.”

I’m hoping it will raise a lot of money. Obviously it will be televised and will happen really quickly,” he said. While pointing to fellow “The Voice” coach Usher, he added, “I can call in some really big favors.”

The concert is set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena, according to the Associated Press.

Likewise, Toby Keith, who grew up in Moore, told CNN Tuesday night he has fielded numerous inquiries about playing a benefit concert for tornado victims at either the University of Oklahoma or Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Norman resident said he is willing to do so, but plans are still in the works.

“Always when these things happen, music people get together, and I’ve had 500 text messages from people all over the music world saying ‘What are we doing? You know, we want to help.’ That’s just everybody’s way,” Keith said. “So I’ve talked to the people at OU; they’ve called me (about) maybe using the stadium. There’s some more people trying to put one on at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City. … Whatever. I’m in. And Moore knows I’m gonna be here. But hopefully, in the next couple of days we can sort it all out.”

A massive benefit called “Music for Moore” will be staged at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center, featuring JD McPherson, Graham Colton, Parker Millsap, Colourmusic, ADDverse Effects, Evangelicals, Taddy Porter, Hosty, Ramsay Midwood, Beau Jennings & the Tigers, Skating Polly, Jacob Abello, Damn Quails and DEERPEOPLE. Proceeds will benefit the Oklahoma chapter of the American Red Cross.

At the Blue Door, Friday’s tornado benefit featuring Kevin Welch, Michael Fracasso and Miss Brown to You sold out in less than 24 hours, even after Grammy nominee John Fullbright had to pull out because of a previous engagement. Tickets are still available to a Saturday benefit concert with Fracasso and Miss Brown to You, plus proprietor Greg Johnson has partnered with Ticketstorm.com to let patrons who can’t make the shows donate to the cause through Sunday.

“We just figure it’s the least we could do. While we’ve got shows going on, we might as well do what we can to help,” said Johnson, who intends to donate the funds to the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s long-term relief efforts.

Fullbright will be performing at the Peace, Love & Goodwill benefit show June 8 at the Chevy Bricktown Event Center,

Maggie McClure
Maggie McClure

along with Tony Lucca, Shane Henry, Maggie McClure and more. The second annual concert was originally intended to benefit Goodwill’s scholarship program.

But this year, funds will be diverted to tornado relief, and the charity will find another way to provide scholarships, said Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma CEO Chris Daniels.

Between show sponsorships and ticket sales, plus change drives at local Goodwill stores, Daniels hopes to raise $100,000 for the Oklahoma Red Cross’ relief efforts.

McClure, who hails from Norman but now lives in Los Angeles, also played last year’s Peace, Love & Goodwill show and said her heart has been in her home state while the twisters’ devastation has been revealed.

“It’s for a good cause anyway … and last year it was a huge success and just a great event to be a part of. I hope this year is even better especially with the proceeds now going to the families impacted by the tornado,” she said.

“It was really difficult being away, being in Los Angeles, and watching this on the news and seeing how close to home it was. My family is in Norman, and we have a bunch of friends in Moore and know people whose houses were destroyed. It’s just really hit a little too close to home for me.”

The following concerts are donating either all or a portion of proceeds to tornado relief. More concerts will be scheduled. Please visit NewsOK.com for updates as more benefit concerts are added.

John Fullbright
John Fullbright

Concerts, other shows raising funds for tornado relief efforts

Rocklahoma

Featuring: Guns N’ Roses, Alice In Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick and others.

When: Friday through Sunday.

Where: Catch the Fever Festival Grounds, west of Pryor.

Information: www.rocklahoma.com.

Kevin Welch, Michael Fracasso and Miss Brown to You

When: 8 p.m. Friday.

Where: The Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley.

Information: www.ticketstorm.com.

Michael Fracasso and Miss Brown to You

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: The Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley.

Information: www.ticketstorm.com.

ADDVerse Effects with Regg

When: 9 p.m. Friday.

Where: Opolis, 113 N Crawford, Norman.

Information: http://opolis.org.

Red Dirt Rising

Featuring: Bo Phillips Band, Red Dirt Rangers, The Damn Quails, Mike McClure, No Justice and more.

When: 1 p.m. June 9.

Where: Arbuckle Ballroom, Exit 55 from Interstate 35, Davis.

Information: www.stubwire.com or www.facebook.com/bophillipsband.

Peace Love & Goodwill Benefit Show

Featuring: John Fullbright, Tony Lucca, Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons, Matt Duke, Shane Henry, Maggie McClure and Kyle Reid.

When: 6:30 p.m. June 8.

Where: Chevy Bricktown Events Center, 429 E California.

Information: www.peacelovegoodwill.org.

The Kamals, The Younglings and The Trading Co.

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday.

Where: Blue Note, 2408 N Robinson.

Information: www.thebluenotelounge.com.

Moon with Gentle Art of Floating, Corporate Ghost and Larry Chin

When: 10 p.m. Friday.

Where: Kamps Lounge, 1310 NW 25.

Information: www.facebook.com/KampsLounge.

Black Canyon with Matt Jewett & The Rowdy Dow and Barling

When: 9 p.m. Saturday.

Where: HiLo Club, 1221 NW 50.

Information: www.hiloclub.net

‘Help Moore’

Featuring: Colourmusic, The Pretty Black Chains, Josh Sallee and Sherree Chamberlain

When: 9 p.m. Saturday.

Where: 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51.

Information: http://51stspeakeasy.com.

Colin Nance with Prix Teen and Pink Pony

When: 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Kamps Lounge, 1310 NW 25.

Information: www.facebook.com/KampsLounge.

OKC Comedy Prom featuring James Nghiem, Josiah Overstreet, 7th City Comedy, BradChad Porter and Dan Skaggs

When: 7 p.m. Monday.

Where: Oklahoma City Contemporary Art Center, 3000 General Pershing Boulevard, State Fair Park.

Information: www.ticketstorm.com.

“Music for Moore”

Featuring: JD McPherson,Graham Colton, Parker Millsap, Colourmusic, ADDverse Effects, Evangelicals, Taddy Porter, Hosty, Ramsay Midwood, Beau Jennings & the Tigers, Skating Polly, Jacob Abello and DEERPEOPLE, The Damn Quails.

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: Chevy Bricktown Events Center, 429 E California.

Information: http://music4moore.com.

Power Pyramid, Glow God, Found Footage and Little Bear

When: 8 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Blue Note, 2408 N Robinson.

Information: www.thebluenotelounge.com.

Samantha Crain with Tallows and Sherree Chamberlain

When: 9 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Opolis, 113 N Crawford, Norman.

Information: http://opolis.org.

Vulgar Fashion, Depth & Current and Quilted Cherry Podium

When: 9 p.m. Friday.

Where: Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman.

Information: http://opolis.org.

The Wise Guys

When: 8 to 10 p.m. May 31 and July 19.

Where: Great Lawn at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, S Robinson Avenue and W Reno Avenue.

Information: www.myriadgardens.org.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

When: 7 p.m. June 7.

Where: Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S Eastern.

Information: www.dcfconcerts.com and http://regionalfoodbank.org.

Dr. Pants and Tallows

When: June 15.

Where: ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E Sheridan.

Information: www.facebook.com/drpantsmusic.

Honeylark

When: 10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Grandad’s Bar, 317 NW 23.

Information: www.grandadsbar.com.

Music & Mayhem

Featuring: Gary Allan, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, The Departed and Whiskey Myers.

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Eufaula Cove Amphitheatre, 399 Lakeshore Drive, Eufaula.

Information: www.levellandproductions.com.

Woody Guthrie Center’s Guthrie Green Concerts

Featuring: Trout Fishing in America, Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines, and Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.

When: 5:30 p.m. June 7.

Where: Guthrie Green, 111 E Brady Street, Tulsa.

Information: www.facebook.com/WoodyGuthrieCtr.

Mark Gibson

When: 9 p.m. June 1.

Where: Studio818, 818 E Third, Tulsa.

Information: www.facebook.com/818TULSA.

-BAM

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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