The Benefit Concert
On 3 May 2013, at approximately 2:46 PM, a tornado touched ground near Oklahoma City. The mile-wide twister would eventually travel 20 miles over a period of roughly forty minutes, becoming an EF5 tornado and leaving death and destruction in its wake as it devastated the suburb of Moore. The final death toll stood at twenty-four. Hundreds more were injured or left homeless.
Within a day or so of the storm’s passing, music promoter Steven White and local businessman Jonathan Fowler were organizing Music4Moore, a benefit concert for the tornado’s victims. Scores of local and regional musicians donated their time, along with local businesses and vendors and dozens of volunteer workers, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma.
The organizers set up three stages: two stages for ticketholders at the Bricktown Events Center, and an outdoor stage, free and open to the public. The outdoor stage later moved to the Wormy Dog Saloon due to inclement weather. The Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll, Wanda Jackson, headlined along with Broken Arrow native and critically acclaimed rhythm and blues revivalist JD McPherson. Also appearing were:
- Desi & Cody
- Travis Linville
- Sherree Chamberlain
- Beau Jennings & the Tigers
- The Damn Quails
- Parker Millsap
Texas singer-songwriter Ramsay Midwood traveled from Austin with his band to perform on the west stage, entertaining the audience with his rootsy Southern Gothic songs. Accompanying him were guitarist Bill Mullins, bassist Jeff Johnston, drummer Scott Mason and special guest and Norman musician Daniel Foulks (IIIrd Generation Bluegrass Band, Samantha Crain) on fiddle.
When I bumped into Music4Moore organizer Steven White at the Gourds’ Summer Breeze Concert Series performance in Lions Park last week, he asked if I’d published the pictures from Ramsay’s set anywhere. I had to admit I hadn’t processed any photos from the benefit — I shot over 750 pictures that night — but that I’d let him know as soon as they were ready. So, even ’though I’d planned to deal with images of the headliners first, I changed my mind and worked on these instead. This is for you, Steven.