Thanks for joining us again at The Concert Hall at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.
The VIP Pre-Show Party
The O'Connells, John Creamer, The Elsases | Tobin, Wolf, Platt, Masser | Darren and Claudia with Tom G | Corny and Ralph with the Sprayregens | Bloch, Elder, Shenkman Curtis | Dr. Jennings and guests | Rita Houston with the Montgomerys | Vin, Kim and Judith | Elsas, Elsas, Welter | Ferdinando, Scher, Scelsa | Houston, Tobin, Morley and Brown |
The Show Starts: Ryan Shaw and Ollabelle
Joan Osborne and Santa Claus
Rickie Lee Jones and the Big Finish
Thanks to photographer Shelley Kusnetz.
From the Desk of: Rita Houston
Our first Holiday Cheer for FUV benefit concert in 2005 was so much fun, we decided to make it an annual tradition. Here's a report from WFUV Music Director Rita Houston, curator of the event.
For those who were there and for those who missed it... (Hey, you - don't miss it next year!)
Our 2nd annual Holiday Cheer show was:
a.) a lot of fun
b.) a big success
c.) full of outstanding performances
d.) all of the above
I think you know where I'm going here - the show was very WFUV! By that I mean that the artists, the audience and even Santa all reflected what FUV is all about throughout the year. The show started with the premiere performance of a newcomer named Ryan Shaw. His soulful, retro, over-the-top talent got him a standing ovation after just 3 songs. The folks who were there won't forget the first time they saw this guy. We'll all be hearing more from him when his debut album comes out in March.
Ollabelle followed with their unique, rootsy repertoire. No one else sounds like them or does what they do, combining folk traditions with a rock-and-roll delivery. They know this old material better than most, but their performance is never studied or academic in any way. They tried to end their set without doing "Before This Time," but the audience demanded that as an encore.
The Crystals/Phil Spector hit "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" came blasting through the speakers to welcome Santa and his sack full of FUV goodies to the theatre. Santa spread some joy throughout our little land before jumping on stage and revealing his identity (hi Vin!) while introducing FUV's afternoon DJ, Dennis Elsas.
Dennis brought on Joan Osborne, who sounds better than ever. It's been awhile since she's been out on tour, since she's got a baby girl at home. But we're lucky to have her living in our hometown, and she was gracious enough to offer us her evening. In fact, this was the first show for her playing songs from her new album, Pretty Little Stranger. She moved from the twangy new numbers into a few of her older rockers effortlessly. She's a cool chick and a heck of a singer. The audience bopped along with the songs they knew and loved, and the first-timers got to hear what Joan's great big voice is like in person.
An intermission gave everyone a chance to compare notes on their favorite parts so far, and then Claudia Marshall took the stage to welcome Rickie Lee Jones. In a surprise moment before starting to play, Rickie Lee came out and presented me with a beautiful batch of flowers expressing her gratitude to FUV for the years of support. Very cool. She then sat behind the piano for 4 classic Rickie Lee tunes! We got to hear both "Flying Cowboys" and "Stewart's Coat" in there... Amazing.
At this point it had already been quite a concert experience. Then her band joined her onstage, and after a bit of background on her new project we were treated to the debut performance of a set of this new material. It was great, moving, emotional and real.
Thanks to all the artists for donating their time and talent; to John Scher, Rich Nesin, and everyone at Metropolitan Talent Presents; to David Schnirman of Hear No Evil, and, most of all, to all of you who turned out to support the radio station and celebrate the holidays. You folks raised well over $50,000 to help keep FUV healthy and strong.
I can't wait to start planning next year's show, and I hope to see you there!
– 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 '05 - Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Richard Julian and friends