Banding Together For The Band

When the New Orleans-based subdudes couldn’t make their scheduled Labor Day weekend gig at Northern California’s Rancho Nicasio thanks to Hurricane Katrina, venue owner Bob Brown knew the band was hurting but wasn’t about to let his club go dark.

The erstwhile manager of Huey Lewis And The News instead asked his next night’s headliner, Tupelo, Miss.-based Paul Thorn, if he wouldn’t mind picking up the slack.

Not only did Thorn come in and play the subdudes’ already sold-out gig, but he turned it into an impromptu fund-raiser for the band members, some of whom found themselves homeless after the storm.

By the time the show ended, they’d raised more than $12,000 for the subdudes, with another $10,000 donated to the Red Cross by Rancho Nicasio.

“These are working class bands and they need the income, especially at a time like this,” Brown said. “They’ve never met and for a group from Mississippi to come to the aid of their fellow musicians from New Orleans was such a heartfelt gesture.”

Subdudes fans didn’t request a single refund when the band couldn’t perform, according to Brown, who offered refunds but had no takers. And the house was jammed with about 600 people all giving to the cause.

Subdudes bassist Tim Cook was grateful for the generosity.

“We were blown away by the offer from Bob and Paul. Getting that money was truly a lifesaver for our band. We’re not that well off financially and a couple of our guys may have lost their homes and all their instruments, so this gives us the chance to keep touring and making a living.”