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  • Marian Hubler

Matthew Curry “Shines On” Rocktober Fall Benefit Concert with Jimmy Dillon and the Birdseed Band

Rocktober, our fall benefit concert on Tuesday, October 24 at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, was a huge success with a night full of amazing music. Bread & Roses Executive Director Dave Perron welcomed the audience of new and old friends.


The Birdseed band, made up of parents of students and teachers at the Bird School in SF, played an upbeat set of originals and cover tunes. Lead vocalist Kerry Landreth galvanized the crowd with her heartfelt singing and striking stage presence. Other band members included Lane Murchison (bass), Mason Morfit (guitar/vocals), Peter Landreth (saxophone), Eliza Goodyear (vocals), Jamie Goodyear (vocals, guitar, keyboards, vocoder, bongos), Scott Bell (drums) and Brian Hetherington (keyboards). Birdseed also generously donated a house concert for the live auction held that night.


Versatile musician Jimmy Dillon then kicked off the second set of rousing rock blues songs with his powerful band featuring Eric McCann on bass, Kirk Snedeker on drums and Kelli Dillon on percussion. Guitar prodigy Matthew Curry sat in with them and it was pure joy to watch Matthew trading sizzling leads with seasoned guitarist Jimmy who said to the crowd, “Anyone seen Jimi Hendrix? I’m glad to know that 22-year-old guitarists are still carrying the torch.”


Hailing from Normal, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, Matthew delighted the crowd by playing a brand new song called The Great Midwest. Jimmy and his band also had a lot of fun backing Matthew up on songs like Six String Broken Heart and Electric Religion from his same-titled first CD. Matthew gave a sweet introduction to the title song from his latest release Shine On saying he wrote it for his Dad when he was dying. He dedicated the tune to Bread & Roses in honor of our program bringing music to isolated folks, with a line from his song the perfect chorus for the night Like a beacon of light in a big endless storm… Matthew, who is known for playing guitar solos faster than the speed of light, played a sensational encore of the legendary song, All Along the Watchtower, written by Bob Dylan in 1967 and famously performed by Jimi Hendrix.

Circle of Advisors member Adam Fells coordinated the donation of a beautiful PRS (Paul Reed Smith) electric guitar with custom inlay, signed by Matthew and auctioned off by René Richardson, long-time former KFOG DJ with Greg McQuaid who emceed our concert. The two are now partners in “Reneé and Irish Greg’s Pop-up,” an ongoing innovative music and conversation podcast series in front of a live studio audience. Greg also helped us make history that night by doing our first live stream of a benefit concert on our Facebook page.


We appreciate all the wonderful sponsors for our Fall benefit concert including Title Sponsor Nancy and Rich Robbins as well as board members: John Botti, Chris Gorog, Philip Pillsbury and Alex Wellins. In addition to our sponsors, we are grateful for the tremendous support from our board overall including Simone Haas, Cathy Less and Donna Mezias; and Circle of Advisors members Adam Fells, Ronnie Lott, Lane Murchison & the Birdseed School community, Stacy Nelson, Tucky Pogue and Andrea Schultz. All were integral to the evening’s great success.

Thanks also to Moonalice Posters for donating beautiful posters for the event with original art by Alexandra Fischer, who also contributed the matching tee shirt design. Special recognition to David Duysen who donated the tee shirts and has generously provided them for our benefit events for the past three years.

Paul Liberatore, who recently donated a portion of the proceeds to Bread & Roses from the Summer of Love show he co-produced with Jimmy Dillon, wrote a beautiful article about Matthew in his Lib At Large article in the Marin Independent Journal on October 20 called “The next guitar hero: Matthew Curry, 22, makes his Marin debut at benefit.”

We are fortunate to have so many new supporters, as well as long-time friends, sustain our ongoing program of over 600 annual live concerts and performing arts programs. Thanks to all who help to keep music alive for those who need it most.

Photos by Benjamin Snell

Live stream video by Greg McQuaid

Photo Captions:

1) Slideshow by Carrie Sownie

2) Jamie Goodyear and Kerry Landreth

3) Jimmy Dillon with Kelli Dillon (L) and Kirk Snedeker (R)

4) Matthew Curry

5) “Shine On” video by Marian Hubler

6) Mark Nelson, Cheryl Jacobs, and Adam Fells

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