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Elvis Costello, Billy F Gibbons and An All-Star Cast Lend a Helping Hand to Support the Musician Treatment Foundation in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Musician Treatment Foundation (MTF) presented an All-Star benefit concert at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee on March 12, 2023. Headliners Elvis Costello and Billy F Gibbons along with plenty of special guests rocked the house. The live show raised funds for MTF who supports uninsured/underinsured professional musicians with medical expenses associated with their trade.

The grand finale at the Musician Treatment Foundation benefit concert was one for the books.

The show started with speakers along with a short film that outlined the important work of MTF. As the line-up of artists for set one were introduced, we were told that a number of them had to have surgery where parts were reattached punctuating the importance of assisting musicians with medical costs so that they can continue playing for all of us.

Bill Evans (sax) acted as band leader of an all-star band that consisted of Darryl Jones (bass), Jerry Douglas (dobro), Keith Carlock (drums) and Mike Seal (guitar). Evans is a world class saxophonist and producer who hit the world music scene in the 1980's with Miles Davis (at the age of 21). Bill played on six of Miles' records which led to collaborations with John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock and Mick Jagger to name a few. The other All Stars have also worked with top tier artists including Steely Dan and The Rolling Stones.

Elvis Costello is on the Board of Directors at MTFUSA.

Kelly McGrath joined the group to sing a number of songs including a visual piece about a broken heart entitled "For What It's Worth". Gale Mayes was also an expressive vocalist who dedicated Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" to MTF while Bill added sassy sax to it. Next, Evans mentioned that he was speaking to a friend overseas and when Max Mutzke heard about this fund-raising concert, he wanted to be a part of it. So, he jumped on a plane to be here in Nashville.

Billy F Gibbons brought some of that great Texas groove to Nashville.

Max is a singer, songwriter and TV personality from Germany. Mr. Mutzke had a strong stage presence. He easily connected with the crowd while enthusiastically encouraging band solos. Max appeared to be really enjoying himself. The ladies joined him for a number of songs elevating an already energized set. Mutzke is a celebrity is his home country. But, a star might have been born in Music City on this night.

It was a big night for Max Mutzke from Germany who made his Nashville debut.

As gear was switched out, a live auction was held which gave attendees additional opportunities to support MTF. A signed jacket was sold for $3,000. Peter Frampton was seen smiling as he looked on to watch his autographed Frampton Comes Alive LP and his autobiographical book raise $8,000 for the cause. Last, was two instruments gifted by Gibson Guitars whose CEO was in the house at the Brooklyn Bowl. The first was a Black Beauty "Phenix" similar to the one Peter used on that famous live album and the other was a Gibson Goldtop reissue signed by the headliners. Both sold in the five figures. There were also raffles and tees to be purchased for those with smaller budgets.

Charlie Sexton (right) was a featured special guest in Elvis Costello's band.

As most of you know Elvis Costello is an award-winning musician and author who has sold millions of records over a career that spans 40 years. However, you may not know that Mr. Costello is one of the founding directors of the Musician Treatment Foundation donating his artistry, collaboration, and many talents in support of the organization. At the Brooklyn Bowl, Elvis with The Imposters presented a diverse set featuring expansive instrumentals along with some chat from Elvis.

There was a lot of wold class musical interaction happening in Music City.

He talked about being inspired by Bruce Springsteen in the early 70's and said that he was sad that the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville is now closed as he still enjoys looking at albums. Highlights of Costello's set was a creative spin on "Watching The Detectives" taking a lot of twists and turns whereas the popular "Pump It Up" was precise and punchy.

Jerry Douglas, Darryl Jones, Gales Mayes and Kelly McGrath in Nashville.

For many the biggest moment of the evening was when Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top joined Costello and Company. They started with "Sharped Dressed Man" and yes Billy looked sharp while oozing with cool. He traded licks with Elvis on that classic and later another guitar duel ensued during "La Grange". "Baby You Wanna Go" was another sizzler that found a trio of guitar players that included the talented Charlie Sexton soaring on their leads. Bills Evans and Jerry Douglas joined the others for a rousing version of Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" to end the night on a high note.

Peter Frampton was on hand to witness the auctioning of some of his autographed items.

As noted from the stage, the Brooklyn Bowl really stepped up to assist with making this event memorable. Concert upgrades included booth seating and/or a VIP After Party ticket with complimentary bites (which looked really good), drinks and the concert poster. These add-ons raised additional funds for MTF. This was also the first time that MTF hosted a concert like this in Nashville, so the Brooklyn Bowl's support along with local sponsors was instrumental in making this night the success that it was.

New Wave legends Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve at the Brooklyn Bowl.

ABOUT MTFUSA.ORG: The Musician Treatment Foundation (MTF) assists in delivering free and low-cost surgical and nonsurgical care for the shoulder, elbow, and hand injuries of uninsured/underinsured professional musicians. MTF is dedicated to fostering a world that cares for its injured musicians regardless of their ability to pay so they can maintain their livelihoods and keep the music playing for us all.

MTFUSA organizers were thrilled to finally plant their flag in Nashville.

Related Links: For more information on the MUSICIAN TREATMENT FOUNDATION and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - | Brooklyn Bowl Nashville | Elvis Costello | Billy F. Gibbons | Bill Evans


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