Tuesday, March 27, 2007

With a little help from Danielle Peck and friends

Saw a "stellar lineup" of artists last night, at a benefit for Safe Haven hosted by Danielle Peck. Ms. Peck gives the words "lovely and talented" new meaning, and it's always encouraging to see "the beautiful people" (ditto on the giving new meaning line) doing worthy things with their share of public platform. She was obviously taken aback by the packed-house turnout, and confessed that she was nervous for the first time in a long time. But we all got over it, as she introduced Blue County, Carolyn Dawn Johnson (recorded "Complicated," wrote "Single White Female"), Deana Carter ("Strawberry Wine"), and others. Danielle also introduced the mother of eight children (some more shy than others) who had benefited from Safe Haven's help; this woman had the most difficult job of all, given the situation and her presumable lack of stage experience. But she apparently had some church in her background, and used her story to do a little preaching to the relatively attentive crowd. Even got an "Amen."

Danielle made it clear she was genuinely interested in the cause of Safe Haven, and more than just a famous face for hire. This is consistent with what I know of her. She's a friend of a friend, and both she and her mom are very nice in person, even discounting the "Nashville nice" that is a professional necessity--you never know whether or when the scruffy looking person you're sitting next to might hold the reigns of your music career.

Of course, it's difficult for anyone to do anything from a 100% pure motive, given our fallen nature and the moral gravity of the world in which we live. Phoebe explores this idea on a particularly thought-provoking episode of "Friends" (not a phrase you hear every day, right?). And benefits featuring celebrities are especially prone to ego-tripping. Ricky Gervais of the orginal British "Office" sitcom makes this point in his typically uncomfortably funny way in this video, featuring some suprisingly familiar faces (and voices):
Saving Africa Made Easy and Profitable

This is a link to the video in a blog by a friend of mine (I echo his caution about the not-so-family-friendly word here and there, and with his brief commentary on it).

I'm at the top of the Tin Pan South slide, looking down on a week's worth of shows to attend, people to see, pictures and notes to take, cards to hand out, and the songcrafting to be enjoyed. Save me a seat, willya?

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