Virtual benefit combines Austin singers with homemade cooking to support struggling musicians

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — This Thanksgiving, local musicians are coming together to do some good and share some hidden talents.

The “HOME COOKIN’ FOR THE HOLIDAYS” special, a virtual benefit and fundraiser, combines two of Austin’s staples—lively music and great food.

Organized by 501-c-3 Austin-based nonprofit Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers—better known as “HOME”—attendees can enjoy the music of more than two dozen artists. In between sets, viewers will get to watch some of their favorite musicians showcase family recipes of homemade dishes like cornbread, pot pie and gumbo.

“It’s great music, and it will make you hungry!” joked Marcia Ball, an Austin local, GRAMMY-nominated singer and cofounder of HOME.

The funds donated go directly to HOME, whose mission is to find housing opportunities and support musicians over the age of 55. Those who donate will receive an electronic copy of all the recipes featured in the cooking segment.

It’s a mission that has previously helped legendary blues and soul singer, Miss Lavelle White. Eight years ago, White, who lives in Austin, fell on hard times. HOME was founded based on the combined effort to get her back on her feet and help her pay the rent.

“HOME is one of the greatest things here in Austin, because they help everyone, they give to everybody,” White said. “It was the best thing to happen to me. Best thing that ever happened.”

Ball said the industry can be unforgiving for musicians as they age. For that reason, HOME specifically targets musicians 55 and older to provide assistance.

“Musicians don’t have a pension,” Ball said. “Although you’ve worked hard all your life, you’ve not ever accumulated enough to consider that you could actually retire. Musicians just don’t.”

White is encouraging everyone to tune into the virtual event Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. She said help is needed now more than ever, as live musicians have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic with closed bars, nightclubs and live music venues, where they normally thrive.

“Don’t let the pandemic stop you from loving people and caring for people and doing all you can to show your love for people,” White said. “We may not be together, but we still can show our love in so many ways.”

The musical lineup for the event include legendary artists John Mayall, Marcia Ball/Tracy Nelson/Shelley King/Carolyn Wonderland, Delbert McClinton, Charley Crockett, Ray Benson, Lisa Loeb, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ruthie Foster, Marc Broussard, Raul Malo, Jackie Venson, Gina Chavez, Vintage Trouble, Irma Thomas, Lucinda Williams, Shinyribs, Joe Ely, Jimmie Vaughan/Sue Foley/Mike Flanigin/Kaz, Jesse Dayton, Miss Lavelle White and Kathy Valentine.

You can watch the event by watching on the HOME Facebook page and via YouTube.

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