Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Bummer Night: Remembering Sarah Elizabeth Campbell

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Last night we attended a tribute/memorial/fund-raiser concert at Kuumbwa Jazz Center for Sarah Elizabeth Campbell, the Austin-based singer-songwriter who passed away on December 26, 2013 of liver cancer at age 60 according to her obituary.  Bummer Night referred to Sarah’s weekly gig in Austin where she sang some of the saddest songs imaginable, interspersed with her irreverently funny stories.

We first heard Sarah in 1996, accompanied by the amazing guitar player Nina Gerber, at a Willow Glen house concert hosted by Dick Brundle.  Dick’s concerts eventually outgrew his house and evolved into the Fiddling Cricket concert series, but that night we sat up front, being careful not to hit the mic stand with our legs while Dick and Jen’s cat walked behind us atop the sofa.

The show featured many Californians who had performed with Sarah over the years, including Nina Gerber, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Kathy Kallick, Carol McComb, Ginny Mitchell,  Chris Webster and the female bluegrass band Blame Sally.  The show began with a slide show accompanied by Sarah singing John Lennon’s Imagine [here is one version], followed by two of her Austin band mates (sorry I don’t remember their names) playing a song they wrote for her on Sarah’s guitar, ‘Ruby’. Thereafter, the show largely consisted of Sarah’s songs, interspersed with stories.  Nina read a lovely obituary that had been posted on Facebook, and played an exquisite rendition of  ‘Imagine’ to close the first set.

It was a wonderful way to remember her and to be reminded of how much the music, the musicians, and the other audience members have meant to us over the past 25 years.