Today’s post is by Future of Music Coalition’s Alex Maiolo, project manager for our Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) program. Alex is also a musician based in North Carolina. Photo credit: Olivia Hjermitslev.]
Ever been to a show that just completely blew you away on all levels? I just attended one. Even better, I got to perform at it.
On Friday, May 28, The Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, North Carolina hosted “Thank You Friend: A Tribute To Alex Chilton.” Local musicians from the area’s legendary scene hit the stage at 8pm, playing ten-minute sets(!!) up ’til 11:30 to remember Chilton’s music and raise money for Future of Music Coalition’s Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) project. I’m always proud to represent HINT on behalf of FMC. And I was equally delighted to take part in honoring Chilton, one of my all-time favorite artists whose work with Big Star influenced more musicians than you can shake a Telecaster at, myself included.
Even if you weren’t at the event, you can still contribute to HINT, which provides musicians with free, confidential information about their health insurance options. The HINT website has lots of information about the issue, and, if you’re a musician, you can set up an appointment for a FREE phone consultation with a health insurance expert (and musician) like me. We’ll demystify the process and even help you understand your options on a case-by-case, state by-state basis.
Please consider donating to HINT so we can keep this important program going and help more musicians.
Now back to the show. Among the players were Chris Stamey (dB’s) who worked with Chilton as a sideman, Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), John Howie, Greg Humphreys (Dillon Fence, Hobex), Matt McMichaels & Adam Price (Mayflies USA), Lynn Blakey (Tres Chicas), Stuart McLamb & Missy Thangs (The Love Language), Jay Manley & Jane Francis, Jeff Carroll, Jeff Hart, Tom Maxwell (Squirrel Nut Zippers), as well as The Magic Babies (with Jen Richelson) and members of The Huguenots.
The event was organized by Doug Edmunds (Gladhands, The Stars Explode) and stage managed by yours truly. I’m in a band called Soft Company, and I used to be in Violet Vector & The Lovely Lovelies. Maybe that’s why they let me play two sets?
Edmunds, a long time Chilton and Big Star fan, put the show together shortly after Chilton’s untimely death in March of this year. After being in contact with Chilton’s widow, Laura and receiving her blessing, it was decided that HINT would be the recipient of the night’s donations.
Sets included songs from Chilton’s first band The Box Tops, his solo work and, of course, Big Star. The rainy weather had no effect on attendance or the vibe of the show — the club was packed and the spirits were high.
On behalf of Future of Music Coalition, I’d like to thank all of the players and attendees for generously supporting the work we do though HINT.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention — FMC recently released an updated study of musicians’ access to health insurance. Really fascinating and important info. Check it out right here.