“What if we did a benefit concert for Houston?”

When Harvey hit, my newsfeed flooded with pictures of the destruction, much like the water drowned the freeways and streets I knew as a kid and adolescent. My sister confined to the upstairs of her house; my mother stranded downtown. With each field segment I saw, I knew not only where each reporter was, but also what was beneath the sea that overtook my hometown, Houston. I fought back the rain out of my eyelids, while at work; for there was enough rain in Houston for one day.

Live music at The Range. 14850 file photo.

The second day, when the rains did not let up, I decided that I would do something. I may be here in Ithaca, but I will fight for my city.

I posted the ol’ “What if we did a benefit concert for Houston?” status on my Facebook profile, and BAM! The responses poured in. The first came through: Mac Myers, Chris Knight, Hal Guitarist. Hell, Creekside Tavern had already committed to donate before we decided to do a raffle, and I didn’t even have a venue yet!

During the preliminary planning, Kelly Sauve not only jumped on the project, but she also took the initiative to gather raffles, local music donations, and the raffle tickets themselves.

I picked The Range and The Haunt, and the artists fell into the schedules.

The Range lineup for Wednesday, September 13th primarily consists of solo acts, with a few bands; while the Haunt lineup on Wednesday, September 27th is geared more towards bands.

This Wednesday at The Range, the lineup includes:

Hal Guitarist, an amazing folk singer that gives Bob Dylan a run for his harmonica.

Janet Batch, a soulful, insightful songwriter, who can curse your name in a chorus and your ears would be too pleased to care.

Mijail Martinez, a fellow Texan, who takes me back home with his Tejano inspired guitar licks, but keeps me in Ithaca with his charismatic, thoughtful lyrics.

Rose Fritzky-Randolph and Joe Gibson, both whom I have had the pleasure of meeting during the Cosmic Joke Collective, which is spearheaded by my adoptive sister and role model, The Mighty Mickie Quinn.

Angela Marion, whose CD is in my car’s regular rotation, is one of my inspirations; she will challenge your conception of genre.

!Viva Mayhem! will bring the horns and the sca; Kurt Riley will melt your heart and move your hips; and Dapper Dan will get you dancing like you’re at the Grandstand on a Saturday at GrassRoots.

Oh, and not to mention Ben Ortiz, aka DJ HA-Meen, will be spinning some old school, new school, and too-cool-for-school records throughout the evening. I’ll be playing a few songs as well.

Funds raised will be split among the JJ Watt Foundation, the Montrose Center, and Friends for Life Animal Rescue and Adoption Organization, all verified non-profits helping out in the Houston area.

With the raffles, the gracious donations from all over town, beautiful graphics from Angel Hernandez, and a patient significant other, The Houston Benefit Concert at The Range will be something you don’t want to miss.

Victoria performs as Vee Da Bee, and is also Tori Vee, the afternoon DJ on Z95.5.

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