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Give Love Give Life

September 23, 2009, 12:00 am
By SFR Staff
Give Love Give Life

with John Trudell and Jackson Browne

7:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 26


$25-$125

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco St.
988-1234


SFR learned at the last minute that Kris Kristofferson, whose soulful croonings and long history of famous girlfriends precede him, was backing out of the Give Love Give Life benefit (to be held Sept. 26 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center). Apparently Mr. Kristofferson is scheduled for eye surgery and won't be able to make it to New Mexico from his home in Hawaii.

While this is a bummer, Kristofferson was swiftly replaced with Jackson Browne, whose political views also go hand-in-hand with his music. Browne is set to join musician-activist John Trudell for an evening at the Lensic that will raise money for three local womens' health organizations - Women's Health Services, Tewa Women United and Young Women United.





Give Love Give Life was formed by John Trudell and Marcheline Bertrand in 2004. It's not your average fundraising outfit; GLGL is based on nationwide concerts that raise money for local organizations. Rather than travel around raising funds for a national organization, GLGL is more focused on the grassroots efforts, which is why three Santa Fe charities are spotlighted.

Though Marcheline lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2007, Trudell carries on her work and memory through the concerts.

Healthcare is a hot topic in the US right now, as well it should be. The 46 million uninsured people of our country includes 12.5 million women of childbearing age, as well as 9 million children under the age of 19. Every seven minutes a woman in the US is diagnosed with a gynecological cancer (that would be cervical, uterine, ovarian, and so on) even though, with regular screenings, these cancers (like most cancers) are detectable and treatable.

So, if those statistics aren't enough to grab readers and audiences, there's a backup plan: Come for the music.

Both Trudell and Browne are able to use their recognizable names to bring attention to the cause, but it wouldn't be worth much if the music itself wasn't good. Trudell performs with his band Bad Dog. The team has recently released Madness and the Moremes, his first album since 2001, a collection of slick rock songs with strong political messages. What sets Trudell's music apart, though, is that it's not only music - Trudell also recites his poetry along wit the music, driving home the idea that every lyric is as important as the tune, and that the words to his songs started out as poems. This strong attention to the actual message of his songs makes not only for unique listening, but for an album with something strong to say.

And what is it saying? "How Does Tomorrow Dream," a heartfelt ballad, laments the plight of children in the most war-torn parts of the country (Afghanistan, Haiti, Israel, and so on). Bone Days, Trudell's 2000 release, features Native American music laid under electric guitars and decidedly rock 'n' roll vocals that lament the history and painful present of many Native people. (Trudell is half Sioux and identifies strongly with America's Native population.) Indeed, every song has a message, but it's easier to listen to when it's performed with the effortless instrumentation of Trudell and Bad Dog.

Jackson Browne, who is set to launch a US tour on Nov. 1, gives Santa Fe a preview of what's in store for audiences. His most recent release, 2008's Time The Conqueror, features Browne's sweet but authentic vocals and a well-produced sound that adds more layers to the simple acoustic sound Browne does so well, and that he's been doing since his 1972 self-titled debut.

Over time and through 17 albums, his sound has evolved, but has always retained the strong underlying sense of rhythm and sincerity. 1988's World In Motion does indeed feature the kind of production, distorted drum beats and soaring background vocals that many of us have come to associate with singer-songwriters in the 1980s (there's even a reggae track in there), but the basis of strong lyrics and Browne's melodic voice stays put.

Following in line, Time The Conqueror is easy to listen to, but its political message comes through in the Trojan Horse of music. "The Drums of War" is a rallying call to the world to think more about what we're fighting for; "Far From the Arms of Hunger" slows the tempo down to lament how easy it is in today's world to suffer and to hurt others.

All in all, the evening of Sept. 26 will not only be an evening dedicated to raising money for three great local causes, but the music stands on its own. Between Trudell's unique spoken-word-cum-rock-'n'-roll and Browne's legendary crooning, opening up the wallet was never easier.

GIve Love Give Life
with John Trudell and Jackson Browne


7:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 26


$25-$125

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco St.
988-1234

 

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