BSP in Kingston gets in on a large-scale grassroots initiative on Sunday, September 25: the Concert across America to End Violence. The Kingston expression of this national event will feature performances by local residents Marshall Crenshaw, Kate Pierson, Mike + Ruthy and Connor Kennedy and Minstrel. Organized nationally by the Massachusetts-based Stop Handgun Violence (SHV), Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence and dozens of other organizations including Family of Woodstock, the Kingston version of the event will be co-produced by songwriter, novelist and Kindie music artist Robert Burke Warren (known to many as Uncle Rock). The idea was suggested to Warren by his friend and occasional songwriting partner Roseanne Cash, who is organizing a synchronous show at the Beacon Theater in New York City.
“She asked if I would put together a Hudson Valley version,” he says. “So I joined forces with Family of Woodstock and reached out to these amazing musicians. They’re all passionate about the issue. So here we are.” SHV founder John Rosenthal said, “In the midst of America’s epidemic of gun violence that results in 90 deaths, over 200 injuries and a mass shooting every day, this powerful coast-to-coast concert and organizing effort will raise awareness and – very importantly – get out the vote on gun violence prevention in the November elections and beyond.”
The musical lineup requires little introduction to locals, but it does speak to the Hudson Valley’s emergent musical diversity. Power-pop icon Crenshaw’s local appearances are rare. Pierson, of B-52s fame, has performed local on several occasions with Kennedy and members of Minstrel as her band, as has Crenshaw. Mike + Ruthy, the progressive scions of Americana and folk royalty, are all-but-synonymous with the music of the mid-Hudson Valley.
Proceeds from the BSP event will go to Family of Woodstock’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline (firearms are currently the most-utilized method of suicide), services for youth and adolescents (1.7 million children and teens live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns) and efforts to prevent domestic violence (in an average month in the US, 51 women are shot to death by their intimate partners). “Family of Woodstock is proud to be participating in the Concert across America to End Gun Violence,” says Tamara Cooper, Crisis Hotline program director. “The focus of this initiative is to bring awareness to our ability to reduce gun violence in our communities through education and prevention strategies such as gun locks.”
The Concert across America: BSP Kingston, hosted by Family of Woodstock, will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 25 in the huge back room of BSP Kingston at 323 Wall Street. Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and can be purchased at www.bspkingston.com.