Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicago Benefit


We are having a benefit for Utah Phillips on Saturday June 14th at the
Heartland Café 9:00 – 1:00 pm.

A fellow named Sparrow who is one of my My Space friends said it best,
"Utah was there for us, let's be there for him now".

For the last several decades Utah has traveled the country with a
guitar, a story and a desire to leave our lives a little bit better
for knowing him, I don't know who sang it Steve Goodman or Jim Post or
Fred Holstein, but I got hooked on "Larimer Street". I found that Utah
had written the song, It took me a little while to find a vinyl copy
of "El Capitan" . For a while I played it every day before I went to
work and every night when I got home. It took a while before I finally
saw the man in person the first time at Holsteins. We talked after the
show and as those of you who are lucky enough to have spoke a word or
two with him know, he is always more interested in what you had to say
rather than feed a performer's ego. He has an inspiring curiosity
about darn near everything. He became the closest thing to a mentor
that I've ever had. I've been learning from him for thirty years.
Now a bum ticker has left him home bound. I hear tell that he is
writing his memoirs but that isn't paying the bills yet. He can't show
up on our doorstep so we can't pay to be entertained for an evening.
We can still buy the CD,s and Utah wishes you would. It is tough
transforming yourself at this stage of the game. As with any other
friend, it is time for us to step up and help him make it through.

I'm not an impresario of any sort. I just see a need and when no one
steps up, I do. I've bugged most performers that I know and a lot of
people who know other people to put together a show. HEARTLAND CAFÉ
and MICHAEL JAMES were there from the start.
They turned over a Saturday night to us. I can inflict my MIKE FELTEN
caterwauling on you for a bit, but I wanted this to be a collective
effort in the spirit of what Utah preaches. We are working on a lot of
promises and maybes and hope they all bear fruit.
So far we have KATHY GREENHOLDT and the EDSELS and we have some
incarnation of M.O.T.O. confirmed. Brandy over at TONY MARGHERITA
MANAGEMENT got JEFF TWEEDY boys from WILCO to donate several
autographed photos and posters to raffle off. Talked to some of the
folks at the I.W.W. and they are behind it. MIKE MATIKA (pardon my
phonetic spelling) from the Laborers Union is behind this effort too.
It always amazes me when people step up like this.
There are a lot of great things and people unconfirmed. It's not my
intent to put anyone on the spot here. I've asked before for other
causes and frankly, I'm tired of doing benefits for musicians too. We
just have to do these things when there is no other way.

Anyway you can help would be appreciated. Anything that you can do for Utah
he'd appreciate. It is time to STAND UP CHICAGO . Mike Felten

1 comment:

Mike said...

Just an addition here:
We've confirmed performers Larry Penn, Otis Gibbs and Larry O.Dean.
We have promises of items for our silent auction from John Prine, Ani Difranco and some original art from Myke Adams