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Ben Harper, Akron/Family, and others @ McCabes Guitar Shop ~ Santa Monica

Ben Harper Live from McCabes Santa Monica 3/1/09

This is the 4th and last installment of my 4 concerts in 4 nights series.

I had known about this tribute concert for awhile now, unfortunately it has been soldout for longer than I've known about it.  But, after a lazy Sunday at the movies I decided to give it a shot and drive down Pico and see if anyone had an extra. I met the owner of McCabes Guitar Shop out front right before showtime and he said sure why not cruise on in. Score!

What me and about 80 others had in store was a GREAT night of music in an amazing venue! I had never seen a show here before, but to see a show in a barn like backroom with walls covered with great guitars in a historic guitar shop is not a bad way to spend a Sunday evening.

It was a tribute concert for country singer Chris Darrow, which was weird because the guy is still alive?!?!  Aren't tribute concerts suppose to be for dead people? There was about 7 different music groups that performed including Chris Darrow himself.

2 hours into the tribute concert marathon - after the first 5 acts (who were all pretty good) and the subsequent set changes, it was obvious who everyone was there to see.  Ben Harper then came out and played his first song solo with a slide on an acoustic guitar that resembled more like a big sushi boat than a guitar.  Then he was joined by Darrow on a duet of "Whipping Boy", which many people think is a Ben Harper song, but in actuality he just covered it from the guest of honor.  Darrow then told a great story about how he introduced Ben's parents in Claremont. So you can literally say if it wasn't for Chris Darrow there would be no Ben Harper. No wonder Ben took time out of his busy recording and touring schedule to perform this tribute for a bunch of Westsiders in a room the size of a 1 bedroom apartment.  Ben was then joined on stage by his new group the Relentless 7 and they did a number. Although the crowd was chanting for more, Ben stuck to the 2-3 song mini set all the prior performers did.

The lights then turned on and half the audience started to leave. What they didn't realize was Akron/Family were on next!  A great up and coming Bluegrass/Indie/Country/Rock trio out of Pennsylvania. Think the next My Morning Jacket. So it was a treat to see them in such a rare venue.

Catch them at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood when they have their 3 night stand there next week if you can...

So that concludes my 4 concerts in 4 nights.  All different types of music in all different types of venues that all make living in L.A. pretty cool. Hope you all enjoyed reading, now time to rest until the next one...

Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 Live from McCabes Santa Monica 3/1/09
Akron/Family Live from McCabes Santa Monica 3/1/09

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