Our friends at the Florida Holocaust Museum are in the middle of an exciting new exhibition called Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution. Graham escaped the Holocaust as a child, but lost his mother at Auschwitz. Graham went on to become the greatest promoter in rock history, known in particular for his venue – The Fillmore – and for helping launch the careers of the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and dozens of other music legends.
Along with Live Aid, he was the producer of The Last Waltz, the farewell concert by The Band, that featured an all-star lineup of 1970s rock talent, including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and many more. A few years ago my favorite Bay area based band, Have Gun Will Travel, staged a Last Waltz tribute at Ybor City’s Crowbar. It was an artistic and audience success.
The guys from Have Gun are now bringing that show to the Palladium this Saturday night at 8. With a list of guest stars and all the great music from the concert and film. For tickets and information you can call the box office at 727-822-3590 or follow this link for on-line tickets and information.
I reached out to Have Gun’s Matt Burke to talk about the show. Here’s a bit of our conversation:
Palladium Paul: Do you see the same connection that I do between the your group and The Band?
Matt Burke: That’s a valid observation. I do see the connection. The Band has definitely had an influence on our music. As a songwriter, I’ve always been a fan of narrative storytelling in songs. The Band’s songwriting style paints a vivid picture using specific details and imagery.
PP: What is the attraction Have Gun in recreating The Band’s legendary farewell concert?
MB: The idea for us to recreate The Last Waltz was originally brought to us by our friend Sean O’Brien, a concert promoter in Tampa. We performed The Last Waltz three years ago at Crowbar in Ybor City as part of a monthly concert series called Reel Deal Thursday, in which a music-related movie was screened, then the soundtrack was performed live. So we’re thrilled to get the opportunity to perform these songs again.
PP: How do you pick the folks who will take on those songs and those performers?
MB: Most of the guest performers this time around are the same folks who joined us three years ago. And a lot of them were skillfully chosen and asked to participate by our aforementioned friend and concert promoter Sean O’Brien. But we consider all of them to be friends and peers within the central Florida music scene.
PP: Will we hear any Have Gun tunes that night, or do I have to catch another show for those great tunes?
MB: We will not be playing any HGWT songs at this event. We are dedicating our performance entirely to the music originally performed at The Last Waltz. But we do have several other shows in the Tampa Bay area in the coming weeks. If anyone’s interested, they can check our website for show dates.
We’re looking forward to the show!