Odds & Ends: ‘A Salute To The Troops,’ Charlie Daniels, Grateful Dead, The Safes & More

Willie Nelson, Mary J. Blige and John Fogerty are on the White House lineup for a special salute to members of the U.S. Military … Charlie Daniels announces “Christmas 4 Kids” lineup … Grateful Dead documentary in the works … The Safes enlist fans for video … Red Wanting Blue To kick off Cleveland’s “Cathedral Concerts” series.

Photo: Mary Andrews / ConcertLivewire.com
Farm Aid, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, N.C.

Willie Nelson, Mary J. Blige, John Fogerty, Common and Romeo Santos are among the artists appearing on the South Lawn  of the White House in November.  You can watch the show, “A Salute To The Troops: In Performance At The White House,”  via the live stream or watch the PBS telecast 24 hours later.

Daughtry is also in the plan.  The band will beam its USO concert performance via satellite from Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama and with music director chores handled by Don Was, the concert will also welcome active duty military members U.S. Army Sgt. Christiana E. Bell, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Smith and Capt. John Ed Auer.

Happening in advance of Veterans Day, the event is part of PBS’s “In Performance” series and will take place before a live audience made up of hundreds of military members. 

But we all can’t jump the White House fence to experience the gala, no matter how easy it looks.  That’s why the good Lord invented internet streaming.  The show will stream live via WhiteHouse.gov and PBS.org/whitehouse beginning at 7:25 p.m. Eastern Time. The concert will air on PBS as a 60 minute “In Performance” program the next day.

Phil Vassar, Andy Griggs and Ty Herndon are among the acts appearing at the annual Charlie Daniels & Friends Christmas 4 Kids benefit concert schedule Nov. 24 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.  Topping the lineup is the famed Charlie Daniels Band.

Photo: Mike Bradley
Sanford Lion's Club Fairgrounds, Sanford, N.C.

With Jamie O’Neal, The Roys and Ryan Weaver also scheduled to perform, the show will benefit Christmas 4 Kids, the nonprofit that has been working for more than 25 years to provide children with their own holiday shopping spree.  Picked up at their schools by an entertainer’s luxury tour bus, the kids receive dinner and a party at the Hendersonville Expo Center hosted by Mr. and Mrs.  Santa Clause.  Then they’re off to the local Walmart where each child receives a brand new winter coat along with $150 to spend any way he or she likes.

“Christmas 4 Kids wants to extend a special ‘thank you’ to Charlie Daniels for headlining our concert for the 14th year,” Christmas 4 Kids president Linda O’Connell said.  “He holds a special place in the hearts of this organization.”

Tickets priced at $60 and $36.50 are available now.  Click here for more info.

Not only will the Grateful Dead get a proper documentary, but the film will coincide with the band’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley,” “The Tillman Story”) will direct the yet-to-be titled film.  Produced by Eric Eisner, Nicholas Koskoff and Justin Kreutzmann, executive producers are Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Andrew Heller, Sanford Heller and Rick Yorn.  Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux will be the film’s music supervisor.

Photo: David J. Phillip/AP
With San Francisco Giants’ Tim Flannery before Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series in San Francisco.

Surviving Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir used a joint statement to talk up the pending documentary.

“Millions of stories have been told about the Grateful Dead over the years.  With our 50th anniversary coming up, we thought it might just be time to tell one ourselves and Amir is the perfect guy to help us do it.  Needless to say, we are humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese.  From ‘The Last Waltz’ to ‘George Harrison: Living In The Material World,” from Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved.  The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.”

Making a video for its new song “I Would Love To,” power pop band of brothers The Safes turned the project into a global effort.

The band enlisted fans from all over the world to submit videos of themselves holding cards showing the song’s lyrics printed in their native languages.  The finished visual, produced by Mickey Mangan, debuted exclusively on Yahoo Music, and is now posted on YouTube.

Fans from 12 countries speaking 14 languages appear in the video.  Meanwhile, you can see The Safes perform live during the band’s current tour.  Click here for the schedule.

Red Wanting Blue will be the first band to rock Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral when the band performs at the building Dec. 5.

There’s a lot of history in Trinity Cathedral.  Constructed in 1901, the structure was included in the National Register Of Historic Places in 1973.

The Trinity Cathedral concert series will take place throughout 2015.  Some of the concerts will air via Cleveland’s WVIZ/PBS ideastream.

“To say we are thrilled to host this series is an understatement,” The Very Reverend Tracey  Lind, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, said.  “Part of our mission is to be a center for arts and music and a gathering place for those devoted to Cleveland and its future.  Cathedral Concerts positions Trinity perfectly in this regard.”