Most of the time when you think of a concert, you might think of anything from your neighborhood bar band gigging at the local Saturday night watering hole with its neon beer signs buzzing in the window and sweaty fans huddled in, shoulder to shoulder, to catch a glimpse of the local hometown heroes, to a stadium rock band’s name blazing on the fiery lights of a larger than life marquee, crowd shaking the building with the roar of 50,000 ecstatic fans. One thing these shows have in common, of course, are that the shows are played for a profit – well, that’s the goal anyway. Nothing wrong with that, for in order for the fan to enjoy the great music they want to hear, artists, managers, crew members, venues, and everyone else involved in the concert music industry need to get paid.
But there’s a special place in my heart for the times that my favorite artists choose to play benefit and charity concerts. Of course, football players, movie stars, reality television celebrities, and your favorite rock god are not always perfect role models, but some really do a bang up job of giving back to the communities which helped launch them to stardom across their hometown, country, or the world. And hearing about such events always heightens the esteem I already have for my favorite artists – they aren’t just amazing talents, but great people too.
Joe Bonamassa recently played a benefit concert for Notes for Notes, “a non-profit organization dedicated to providing youth with completely FREE access to music instruments, instruction and recording studio environments so that music may become a profoundly positive experience in their lives.” The benefit concert was held on October 24 at the historic Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting Notes for Notes. I think this is a fantastic cause, as finding passions such as sports and music for children when they, especially high-risk children, are young is so important in keeping these kids safe and helping them to find greater success in life.
This year’s fourth annual Seymour Duncan Benefit Concert for Notes for Notes featured Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band and Joe Banamassa. For those who don’t know, Jimmy Vivino is the musical director for Conan O’Brien and the Basic Cable Band is the house band for the show. The Santa Barbara News-Press calls it “an incredible line-up” and I have to agree, this is pretty cool stuff. And you can check out a video of the song “Double Trouble” from the show below:
After a few wailing high notes from Joe, the band kicks it in to a steady slow-jam groove. The opening solo from Joe is held back and moderately soft, not overpowering but setting us up for the attack that is waiting to spring out from the mellow overtones of the beginning.
“Oh I’m standing at my window” Joe smoothly croons as the crowd whoops and hollers, piano and guitar gorgeously complementing and intertwining around one another as he sings. Joe then launches into a full guitar attack onslaught, It’s fast and furious, technically brilliant and full of passion. And why not be full of such passion, with such a good cause on the line?