Local, national acts team up to help Tess’ Lark Tavern

After a fire ripped through Tess’ Lark Tavern last week leaving it closed indefinitely, the local mu

Benefits for Tess’ Lark Tavern

3 p.m. Saturday, May 22: Rocking to Rebuild, with Super 400, Rocky Velvet, Raisinhead, Mirk and the New Familiars, Dezmatic, The Best Damn Open Mic EVER! Band, Washington Park Lake House, Albany. $25.

6 p.m. Saturday, May 22: Art Auction, The Marketplace Gallery, 40 Broadway, Suite 23, Albany. $5 or free with Lake House admission.

7 p.m. Wednesday, June 2: Laughs for Lark Tavern, with Greg Aidala, Bernadette Pauley, The Knuckleheads, Dave Cox, Benita Zahn, Jason Keller, The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, 339 Central Ave., Albany. $15.

Thursday, June 10: Ramblin Jug Stompers, The Best Damn Open Mic EVER! Band, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble, Albany Poets Speak Loud, Bryan Thomas, Jim Gaudet and His Railroad Boys, The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, 339 Central Ave., Albany. Price TBA.

After a fire ripped through Tess’ Lark Tavern last week leaving it closed indefinitely, the local music scene that owner Tess Collins has helped support over the years is gearing up for a series of fund raisers for her venue over the next few weeks.

First up is a benefit concert at the Washington Park Lake House on Saturday, May 22, from 3 to 8 p.m., with a silent auction from 4 to 7 p.m. The event, which is being sponsored by Rock 2 Rebuild, will feature live performances throughout the day from Troy rockers Super 400; Rocky Velvet (reunited for this event only); Raisinhead, Mirk and the New Familiars; Dezmatic; and the Best Damn Open Mic EVER! Band — Caroline Isachsen aka MotherJudge, Albie, Bob Buckley and John Brodeur.

Beer and wine is included in the $25 admission. Albany Poets and the burlesque troupe Charmed and Dangerous will also perform at the event.

In addition, The Marketplace Gallery at 40 Broadway, Suite 23, will hold an art auction from 7 to 9:30 p.m. that same day, with live music from 6 to 11 p.m. Admission is $5, or free with entry to the Lake House.

Group Effort

“It’s been a big effort on the part of the city, The Marketplace Gallery; Rock 2 Rebuild has been helping,” Isachsen said of the effort to organize the event. “Tess will be there and the whole Lark Tavern staff will be there. We’re hoping to make it not just a great event, but a healing event, a chance for Tess and the staff to actually talk to some of the people who want to give them their regards.”

It’s not just musicians getting involved. Local comedian Greg Aidala and his production company, Radial Gage Entertainment, have organized a fund raiser at The Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, on Wednesday, June 2, at 7 p.m.

“Thursday after the fire, I went down to the establishment and I saw Tess — I brought her some flowers, because I had to try to put a bright spin on it,” Aidala said. “I’ve known her since 1999. I’ve been in business with her, holding my showcase [at the Lark Tavern] for four years, so immediately as I was walking away I said, ‘That’s it — I’m putting on benefit. So immediately Thursday I started making calls.”

Aidala will host the event, featuring nationally known comedians Bernadette Pauley, The Knuckleheads and Dave Cox, as well as locals Benita Zahn from WNYT, Newschannel 13, and Jason Keller from 103.1-FM. There will be a cash bar, and tickets are $15, available by calling 465-5233, ext. 4, or visiting www.wamcarts.org.

An NPR-style benefit at The Linda is also in the early planning stages for June 10, and will feature all of the Lark Tavern house performers, including Ramblin Jug Stompers; the Best Damn Open Mic EVER! Band; Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble; Albany Poets Speak Loud; Bryan Thomas; and Jim Gaudet & His Railroad Boys. Ticket prices and start times have not yet been announced for this event.

Donations sought

To donate to the Lake House silent auction, e-mail Jasen Von Guiness at [email protected] To donate to the art auction, e-mail themarketplacegallery. Volunteers are still needed for the events; e-mail [email protected] if interested.

For those who can’t make it to these events but would still like to donate to the Lark Tavern, Matt Baumgartner of www.fridaypuppy.com has set up a PayPal donation through his Web site. Click here for the direct link for donations.

Categories: Life and Arts

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