Our first benefit concert! At The Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
The VIP Pre-Show Party
Elsas, SantaScelsa | Chuck, Dianne, Shari and Ralph with Diane Max | Julianne with Laurie Sprayregen | Larry Taylor, Diane Max and Patty Lipshutz with Dennis | Corny and Rita with Diane Max | John Platt with the Mahedys and the Sheridans | Dennis and Corny with Welter, Sheridan, Bergan | Singer, Shenkman Curtis, Elder | Rita and Janeen with John Creamer |
Rita kicks it off | Claudia with Richard Julian | Sexton, Julian, Lee and Olevsky | Darren intros Amos Lee | Amos Lee and Jaron Olevsky | Amos Lee and Jaron Olevsky | Martin Sexton, a capella | Three Little Willies: Richard, Lee and Norah | Richard, Lee, Norah | Staff and artists sing | Julian, Houston, Jones and Sexton | George Whipple with Norah | The whole happy gang |
Thanks to photographer Shelley Kusnetz.
From the Desk of: Rita Houston
The Holiday Cheer for FUV show was a resounding success. The show was a benefit for WFUV and could not have happened without the support and help of many, including the artists, who donated their time.
The Roches, our special unannounced guests, got the show started with their distinctive harmonies on the Halleluah Chorus plus a very New Yawk version of "Winter Wonderland."
Richard Julian was next, playing songs from his soon-to-be-released album Slow New York. His songs have a real Randy Newman/Lyle Lovett feel, and are so lyrically rich he had the audience completely captivated. Amos Lee and his band followed, playing a bunch of songs we know from his self-titled debut. He also treated us to a few new songs that suggested a rockier/bluesier direction for his music - all good for sure.
Then it was Martin Sexton, singing to the rafters! His vocal range really suited the fine acoustics of the Concert Hall. In fact, he even went mic-less and a capella for his first tune. The highlight for me was a timely, moving version of John Lennon's "A Day in the Life" with a bit of "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" - it was a beautiful New York moment, as we all sat just blocks away from the Dakota.
Then came the surprise of the night - The Little Willies! This New York supergroup takes it low-key all the way with their honky-tonk-country covers, which included a couple of Willie Nelson tunes, as you might expect from their name. The band is fronted by the shared vocals of Richard Julian and Norah Jones. Norah was absolutely entertaining in this role - she seemed to really enjoy being part of a band. Of course, her voice is like no other, and this was a real treat to catch her in this intimate setting.
The night ended with a spontaneous version of "White Christmas" lead by Claudia Marshall and the entire WFUV on-air staff, with the 800 fantastic WFUV supporters in the audience singing along. If you were there, we thank you. If you missed it, you missed a great one and we hope to catch you next time!
Before the show, the VIP attendees were treated to a reception with Santa and the entire WFUV on-air staff. We enjoyed the yummiest food and beverages courtesy of Abigail Kirsch Catering.
Big thanks to the artists who all donated their performances to the cause. Also thanks to Dan Connelly, Bruce Lundvall and all the kind folks at EMI Music. Special thanks to the guys at Metropolitan Talent Presents, including John Scher and Brad Saks. And special thanks for all the hard work to Janeen Shaitelman and all my DJ friends at FUV!
– Rita Houston
Photos and info from our other Holiday Cheer for FUV nights:
- Holiday Cheer for FUV '10 - Amos Lee, Citizen Cope, Punch Brothers and The Secret Sisters
- Holiday Cheer for FUV '09 - Rosanne Cash, Mike Doughty and The Low Anthem
- Holiday Cheer for FUV '08 - James Hunter, Dar Williams, Felice Bros. & Bruce Hornsby
- Holiday Cheer for FUV '07 - Loudon Wainwright III, Madeleine Peyroux, Dan Wilson, Suzanne Vega & Odetta
- Holiday Cheer for FUV '06 - Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Osborne, Ollabelle and Ryan Shaw