In the world of live music, there are certain places that are held near and dear, sacred not for one particular reason, but rather for a host so large that trying to pin it down, or even explain it, would be a less than fruitful effort.
In similar fashion, any fan can point to a particular band, artist or player of a particular instrument as the one that does “it” for them. It, in its intended sense, is as unexplainable as Stonehenge. It is that tone that cannot be taught. It is that soul that cannot stay tucked away. It is whatever it is that gives it the ability to snatch one by his shirt and take full ownership of everything from the next move he will make to the feelings he will have while getting there.
During his short time with us, Michael Houser was the source of the aforementioned for literally countless fans. Behind an unassuming demeanor, and from a seated position, the power he unleashed was staggering. There was something about his tone that even if blindfolded, it was unmistakeable. No one since has even attempted to recreate it; they know they would fail if they tried. It was, is and always be his honest tune. Fortunately, he shared it with us and therefore, it rings with immortality, meaning that it can never depart.
Much was written in regards to how Mikey continues to shine a light of influence on us when Ian Rawn, Steve Love and Jamie Wickford published what we think was a beautiful piece recounting the We Miss You Mikey occasion. Whether watching online or from within the venue itself, we thought that it captured the feeling that the night in the Georgia Theatre spawned. In a word, that feeling was “inspired.”It was from that night that this idea being presented today was born…
â—Š The Idea
The record pictured has been sitting around for quite a long time. It’s cover tells that story by itself. It has seen better days, but those days were before it spun on a record player literally more times than even its direct owner (which is always a source of fun dispute) knows. As you will see, it has been signed by the band that created the content contained on the vinyl therein, Widespread Panic, including Mikey Houser.
Needless to say, this is a treasured little item, but alas, the conclusion has been made that it should go and live elsewhere, perhaps… say, your house.
That conclusion was arrived at about a year ago, but when it was, the decision to wait for the right time and the right reason to let it go. That time, for whatever reason, is now.
â—Š The Cause
Referring back to the first sentence way up there â†‘, this past summer, one of our staff’s and senior contributor’s favorite places to be is Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. It is a “home field ” of sorts. It is a place that, for so many, has represented reuniting with old friends and never leaving without new ones.
Earlier this year, the area that is home to the park came under attack. Its wasn’t attacked by mortars of flame but rather by one of the very elements from which the location derives a portion of its identity, the molecule of life itself, water. It all happened when tropical Storm Debby descended on the small town of Live Oak, releasing an unprecedented amount of rain, wreaking havoc across Suwannee County. This was in June.
Next month, folks will flock to the town, occupying its hotels and those of close by Lake City, at least for the few very chilly wee morning hours that succeed the funk-filled late Bear Creek nights. For some, the havoc that our Mother wreaked on the grounds that have been a dance floor to so many will be out of mind. For others, thoughts of the devastation will be fleeting, resembling the Spanish moss that hangs overhead, blowing with each passing Florida breeze.
Neither of these statements are meant to come across as condescending. To suggest that people should walk around drearily thinking about a disaster while some incarnation of a “best of” lineup of musicians has sprung up for the 9th time during Bear Creek would be a bit dumb. After all, to the naked eye things appear to be just fine in Live Oak. Nearly seven months later, the roads have long since been opened and business is back to usual for a large portion of the townspeople. But, as we all know, there is always more to the story under the surface.
The fact remains that some families lost everything in June. Included in everything was their car(s), home, appliances, furniture, gardens, clothes, food, toiletry products, a combination thereof and far too much more to try and list. For these people, things are far from the way they were prior to the flood.
This is where we come in, but to suggest that we can solve all of Live Oak’s problems would be quite pompous and actually, quite naive. This said, we can definitely do something. How much will be up to you and those like you.
â—Š The Raffle
The Prize: Autographed LP- Bombs & Butterflies – Widespread Panic
The album is a limited edition LP (Vinyl) release of Widespread Panic’s Bombs and Butterflies (1997-Capricorn). It is numbered 2627 out of 3000. The album’s cover (that is the one that those common with the album recognize as the cover of the standard release CDs, cassettes, etc.) unfolds into a poster, as seen in one of the pictures below.Â
The outer cover is signed by all members of Widespread Panic that were in the lineup at the time that the album was released: John Bell, John “JoJo” Hermann, Michael Houser, Todd Nance, Domingo S. Ortiz and Dave Schools
There will be a second prize but that is still being ironed out. Trust us, it will be good and as worthy a consolation as it can be to the “once in a lifetime” status of the grand prize.
Here is the plan:
1) The autographed Widespread Panic album will be raffled for 5 bucks per ticket. There will be a second place prize (that will be announced soon… still working out the details there)
2) One family will be the beneficiary of all monies collected and that family will be chosen through cooperation with our friends at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.*
3) The money will be delivered during or before the Bear Creek festivities and only after a winner has been drawn from the raffle.
That’s it! Sounds simple, right? Not so fast! This requires YOUR help. Why? Well, other than the obvious reason that we need you to buy a ticket (or 20), if by November 2, 2012, there has not been at least $500.00 raised, all monies will be refunded and the raffle will not go down or be extended accordingly.
Why 500 clams?
The fact is, there is a near identical item that recently sold for 3,500.00 and another up for auction on eBay with a starting price of 2,750.00. So, if we wanted to, we could just hop on over to eBay, sell the album of a couple of thousand dollars, donate that money and be done with it.
But that requires absolutely zero community effort and excludes so many from the opportunity to have the album and the opportunity to give to a family that is in need.Â Plus, we hope that we can do better that a couple of thousand dollars. We want to blow this family’s mind with the amount of generosity that the folks with our little Honest Tune family & community gathered.
â—Š Rules & Eligibility:
1) All of the entered names will be collected from the survey site and pasted into a computer generated random name picker. All of this will be videotaped so that nobody can cry foul. To see examples of us using this tool, click here. If we are lucky, maybe we will bump into Col. Bruce and get him to draw names out of a beer pitcher again.
2) The drawing will be held on 11/7/12** and the winners will be notified within 7 days from that date.
3) No previous or current Honest Tune editor/staff may enter
4) Contributors (senior and otherwise) may enter.
5) A person may enter as many times as he/she wishes, but please note all raffle “virtual ticket” sales are final.**
6) Entrants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and from within the continental United States.
â—Š How to enter?
Are you ready?
Well, here ya go:
Simply click on the pay now button below and you will be directed to PayPal where you will complete your transaction. After you are done and if everything goes correctly, you will be redirected to a “Success!” page and your email from PayPal will confirm your entry.
If you have any questions, please publicly list them below in the Facebook comments section. If, for whatever reason, you need to contact us with a question, please utilize the contact option in the menu at the top of this page.
Lastly, we encourage everyone to read the fine print, which contains terms and other items of interest, including checks & balances that ensure legitimacy.
â–º Don’t forget:
There are three Honest Tune giveaways underway. PrizesÂ include autographed CDs from Trey Anastasio & Jimmy Herring, tickets to one of a handful of Gov’t Mule & Jimmy Herring Band (w/ Victor Wootem Band) shows, a new copy of Gov’t Mule’s new Georgia Bootleg Box and some merch and CDs from Jennifer Hartswick and Van Ghost. Be sure to check them out. They don’t cost a penny to enter and with the vibes you are putting out by entering this raffle, you r odds surely just increased! Good Luck!
Click the thumbnails to view…
*We are choosing to do this in this manner, as opposed to the traditional routes we have taken with past charity-related auctions, donations, contests and giveaways, is due to the trusted relationships that we have in Live Oak who can steer the giving appropriately, and because we want to see how and who your and our efforts help… especially with a prize as near and dear to our heart as this one is.
**Exceptions: 1) If, by November 2, 2012, there has not been at least $500.00 raised, all monies will either A) be refunded and the raffle will not go down or B) be extended past the original deadline. 2) If a mistake is made in purchasing, refund requests will be looked at and evaluated on a case by case basis. For example: If you accidentally choose to purchase 100 tickets, but you meant to purchase 10, that would be an obvious “of course, we will refund your money.” On the other hand, if you choose to purchase three tickets and have some odd form of buyer’s remorse, your probably going to be out of luck. The refund policy is necessary to ensure that the contest, short as it is, runs smoothly.
This contest/giveaway is not endorsed, sponsored by or affiliated with Michael Houser, Widespread Panic, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Capricorn Records, the city of Live Oak or any related entities to include (but not be limited by: management, estates, official representatives, copyright holders, etc.) It is, indeed, the sole responsibility of Honest Tune, thereby making Honest Tune responsible for all parts of this giveaway/raffle.Â Due to the financial commitment each entrant is making, Honest Tune will, at minimum: Publish a list of every entry and dollar amount. Entrants confidentiality will be kept by use of his/her email’s first 3 letters and first two letters of domain (example: John Doe enters and buys 3 tickets. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. His information will appear as: j**n***@gm***.com) This list will be published within 90 days after the close of the drawing via Google Docs.It will be up to each individual to check the site, honesttune.com, for the release of this document. Further, a screenshot of the PayPal balance, as it stands on the drawing date will be included in that document. Currently, the balance is $0.00.