Hootenanny for Haiti: Seattle’s Rock & Roll Campfire

I went to the Hootenanny for Haiti with Mike McCready, Duff McKagan and friends last Sunday night and it was a blast!


It was kind of like singing around the campfire with 1,100 of your closest friends, who happen to include some of the best musicians in Seattle, and a song list that includes The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Tom Petty and a couple surprises from the deepest vaults of Seattle rock history.


They started the show off, to a sold out and capacity crowd at the Showbox at the Market (the original Showbox), with Wild Horses. Here’s the preview before the show from KISW radio.

Let’s see: Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan’s Loaded), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Gary Westlake (Kristen Ward, Flight to Mars -the UFO tribute band that also includes Mike), and Jeff Rouse (Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Alien Crime Syndicate); and many more at the actual show.

Maybe it says something about the crowd (including me), that the first good sing along got going with Tom Petty’s Even the Losers (Mark Pickerel taking the lead on this one):

 Some of the songs were a real hoot (and totally unexpected)! Jeff Rouse covering Prince’s I Can Never Take the Place of Your Man? Kim Warnick (The Fastbacks) taking the lead on Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth? Actually, Duff warned us this one was coming a couple weeks before on his Reverb blog on The Seattle Weekly site. Still, that he had so much fun playing it. . .


Johnny Thunders Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory was another one Duff told us was coming:

Star Anna really stole the show with her version of Otis Redding’s That’s How Strong My Love Is (version below not from the Hootenanny). I’ve said it before, but her voice is just incredible. The amount of emotion that just breaks your heart (but in a good way).

Kim Virant took up the challenge of following Star with Stevie Nicks’ Stop Dragging My Heart Around (doesn’t seem to be any video of that up). I’m not sure which of the guys was singing the dead on Tom Petty part of the duet.

Kristen Ward really held her own, taking the stage early with Hank WilliamsI’m So Lonesome I Could Cry amidst wolf whistles. Here she is with Gary Westlake singing Dolly Parton’s Jolene (and, yes, the drunk guys shouting at the start see Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron. . .). Some people need to get out more, or maybe not. . .

Now for some pure Seattle moments. River of Deceit, from Mad Season, the super group Mike played in with the late Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), among others. Jeff Rouse takes Layne’s part:

There was also a mini-reunion of one of  Pearl Jam member Stone Gossard’s side projects, Brad, after the raffle. Brad is playing at the Showbox on April 14, and that show is already sold out.


Then, back deeper into Seattle’s past – Crown of Thorns, from Mother Love Bone (a band before Pearl Jam that Stone and Jeff Ament were part of before their lead singer, Andrew Wood, ODed when they were on the brink of fame). Shawn Smith, from Brad, took the lead vocals. Holy Cow!

Then Duff and Star Anna did a duet of Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heavens Door. Even Duff was in awe of her Otis Redding cover, and really embarrasses her (but in a good way) going on about it.


Closing out, Duff taking the lead on Iggy Pop’s I Wanna Be Your Dog, followed by the ladies taking the lead on I’ll Fly Away.


Awesome show for a great cause!

With the packed house and raffle tickets ($5 for one, $20 for 5), they must have raised a lot for Partners in Health and their work for Haiti. There is still supposed to be an autographed guitar that was played by Mike and Duff at the Hootenanny coming up on Charity Buzz. If you have $1000 or so lying around, it should be coming up this week at: http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions . Search for Hootenanny for Haiti.

Obligatory late night transit story for this concert:

They’ve got police posted at the Westlake tunnel late nights. A cop was dragging a guy away in handcuffs for. . .(cue Dragnet theme). . .smoking a cigarette? OK, I’m not a big fan of second hand smoke, but . . . “You’re busted!”?   I can see a ticket. He deserves a ticket (the officer helpfully pointed out the sign on the way out when the guy claimed he didn’t see any rule about it).

At least with the cops there, people aren’t getting the crap beaten out of them and getting robbed with everyone including the security guards standing around. Looks like the police are looking for something to do, though; so I’d suggest not lighting that cigarette and throw away your trash properly! Granted, a good idea anyways. . .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s