The Chasing Rainbows Gala on September 27, 2015 featuring Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell surpassed all expectations for the Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. This event marked the 85th anniversary since the Fox Theatre opened its doors in Tucson. It was the most successful fund-raiser in its five year histoy, raising more than $200,000. There is little wonder since the show presented one of the most revered legends in country music.
The events at the Fox Theatre started with Emmylou Harris teaming up with the Southern Arizona Humane Society and bringing a rescue dog on stage that she had encountered earlier in the day at her hotel. This was a natural pairing between the singer and the Human Society since Ms. Harris is very passionate about dog rescue. She established her own organization, Bonaparte’s Retreat, in 2004. Emmylou was strongly urging the people in the audience to give this dog a home.
Next, the Fox theatre presented the Gala’s honoree and recipient of the 2015 Chasing Rainbow’s award to the Zuckerman Family Foundation. The Zuckerman’s founded Canyon Ranch in Tucson. Their philanthropy has been overwhelmingly generous toward the Fox Theatre. The award is bestowed on a person or persons who have supported the Fox Theatre in multiple ways continue building the legacy of the Fox theatre.
Jim Click was there to continue an auction of a car he donated for charity. The winner of the car will be announced November 1, 2015. Auction winner Arnie Arriola won 5 pairs of Golden Circle tickets to upcoming shows at the Fox Tucson Theatre over the next year!
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell took the stage for a 90-minute show of classic country music. The two country singers have played together intermittently for 40 years. They mentioned that it took them 38 years to make their first album together, Old Yellow Moon, in 2013. They followed that release this year with the album, The Traveling Kind. Tonight’s bountiful set covered their solo careers delving back to the 1970s as well as offerings from their two albums together.
They opened the show with a Lucinda Williams penned song from their new album, “I Just Wanted To See You So Bad.” It was apparent from the start that these two voices blended so well that it seemed to be one voice. It was a perfect pairing that continued throughout the show. Ms. Harris was at the forefront of the set most of the time. Mr. Crowell remained close by. There was very little banter between the 26 songs performed during the set.
The band was nothing short of stellar. Australian guitarist Jedd Hughes played like his hands were on fire and he certainly rivils some of the best guitarists in the business. Chris Tuttle played great accordion and keyboards while Steve Fishell kept the flank up with steel guitar. John McTeague on drums and Michael Rinne on bass were extraordinary. There was lots of muscle in the band to make the songs flourish elegantly.
The songs in the set had a genuine story to tell and the singers gave them all the heart and soul anyone could possibly muster without being morose. Upbeat songs like “I Ain’t Living Long Like This” and “Bluebird Wine” were given the ‘mud-kickin’ rodeo treatment that they deserved. For a complete set list, click here.
Emmylou Harris brought out her touring recue dog, Kita, on stage to take a bow and get some audience pets! This show generated great old country spirit bringing back memories of Gram Parsons, Waylon Jennings, the Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, and Townes Van Zandt. It was an intimate evening spent with two masters of country music.