Mike Beck brings cowboy songs and the tradition of storytelling through music to Café at Adele’s Thursday, Aug. 22, as the Summer Concert Series on the Veranda continues.
A favorite performer on the Cowboy Poetry circuit, singer-songwriter, poet and working cowboy Beck is touring in support of his album “Tribute,” which showcases original horse songs written through the years, raising money for The Joyful Horse Project, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas that pairs combat veterans with rescue horses being trained for rehabilitation.
In addition to that cause, which is supported by 100 percent of Beck’s “Tribute” CD sales, Café at Adele’s co-owner and chef, Charlie Abowd will pass the hat and make a matching donation to the non-profit Least Resistance Training Concepts’ (LRTC’s) Orphan Foal Project based in Dayton. The Orphan Foal Project is operated under The Lucky Horse Rehabilitation Project, which was founded in the mid-1990s and is run by Shirley Allen of Stagecoach and Palomino Armstrong of Shingletown, Calif. They receive orphaned colts from the Virginia Range and Bureau of Land Management ranges and facilities for rehabilitation and are then adopted out.
“Lucky was my very needy horse who required a lot of attention and if he could be rehabilitated, we knew any horse could. That’s how Lucky Horse Rehabilitation Project was named,” said LRTC volunteer Betty Retzer. “LRTC’s mission is to mentor people about how to work with their rescue horses, nurture the orphans and have also stared large animal rescue – we’re Jacks of all trades.”
“This is a small way we can collectively help a local wild horse cause and do our part to raise awareness about our local herds,” Abowd said.
Beck usually schedules public performances in the same areas he is conducting horsemanship clinics and home concerts, an out-of-the-box approach to promoting The Joyful Horse Project.
“I have been humbled by my work with them and hold Beth (Rand, the organization’s founder) in high regard,” Beck said. “This veterans’ thing is organic and I have seen men and women with injuries and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) who were lost … there was a gal who was considering suicide … and (they) have discovered by their work with the horses their lives have meaning and purpose.
Through that work, Beck began meeting retired generals and colonels who wanted a way to help, but the idea of a big venue show was more than most could or would be able to undertake.
“That’s where the house party concept came in,” he said. “They can host 100 of their closest friends in their home or in their yard, they can make up their own rules – you can’t smoke or everyone needs to smoke, bring in the barbecue wagon, however they want to do it and raise money to help these veterans.”
The intimacy of such venues also allows the audience to connect directly with Beck.
“There is usually a separation between musicians and the public and the house party concept eliminates that and people are really taken with it,” he said. “Storytelling is an old tradition that is still encoded in our fiber, it is how we got our history and a good story has a great beginning, middle and end.
“When I am listening to music, seeing a movie or reading a book, I want to be inspired,” Beck said. “When I go to a show I am not there to get drunk and laid, and along the way, I have met some young people who also understand what good music and good storytelling is, and they aren’t at a show for (those other reasons either).”
In addition to “Tribute,” Beck recently released “Pinestreet Girl,” a CD featuring his band, The Bohemian Saints. He grew up in Monterey, Calif., inspired by The Byrds and Clarence White, who was his guitar hero. The radio, the ‘60s and John Steinbeck all played a role in Beck’s formative years both as a musician and a writer.
And it is this return to more innocent, simpler times that shows up at his performances.
“People are listening and engaged, hearing songs that tell stories and captivate the imagination,” Beck said. “People should prepare to be moved.”
Other upcoming shows in the series include:
C.W. and Mr. Spoons perform Western ragtime and Americana music Thursday, Aug. 1. A local favorite, C.W. and Mr. Spoons, who are Chris Bayer and Steve Suwe respectively, bring years of musicianship to their performance by way of Bayer’s 1920s National Steel Body Guitar and Suwe’s contraption, an instrument of joyous percussive sound and spoons rattling on his knee, pure lyrics and harmonies that resonate with the feeling of a simpler time, though their music is delightful in its intricacies and is anything but simple. Together they promote the rich tradition of the area’s history through their music and are fast becoming one of Northern Nevada’s favorite duos.
Jazz vocalist Barbara Baxter takes the stage Aug. 8, showcasing her soul-laced interpretations of Jazz, Blues and standards from the Great American Songbook. Whether performing, “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” or “Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues,” Baxter delivers, putting her heart into every composition. Baxter is widely known, appearing in at a variety of venues and events. She will be accompanied on keyboard by Peter Supersano in a pairing that always delights.
New World Jazz Project and Niall McGuinness have become a favorite of Northern California and Nevada with their sophisticated blend of Latin, Soul and World Jazz music which will fill the night sky around Café at Adele’s Aug. 15. They present an evening of original compositions and modern classics in a straight-forward, grooving fashion certain to have folks dancing.
Linda Merrell, billed as “A Singer With Style” has both vocalist and band leader titles under her belt. Her life has been all about music beginning in first grade and taking her to Nashville, Tenn., before returning to Northern Nevada where she continues to perform at many of the area’s Jazz venues. The September 5 performance will cover a range of music from Jazz, ballads and caberet numbers as well as contemporary and soft rock.
For more information about Mike Beck visit www.mikebeck.com. For information about The Joyful Horse Project, visit www.joyfulhorseproject.org and for information about LRTC’s Orphan Foals Project, visit www.whmentors.org. All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. and a Veranda Series menu will be available in addition to Café at Adele’s full menu. Café at Adele’s is located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City. For more information, call 775-882-3353 or visit www.adelesrestaurantandlounge.com.