Black Fret and The Black Ball Gala

Black Fret is revolutionizing the music industry. The Member-based charity is centered around the principle that "local music, like the symphony and the opera, is worthy of community's support." In two short years, the organization has dolled out over $280,000 in grant funds to some of Austin's most promising emerging artists.  

Black Fret Founders Colin Kendrick & Matt Ott

Black Fret Founders Colin Kendrick & Matt Ott

I am proud to say I was there at the beginning when we were hired to manage Black Fret's Inaugural Launch Party. At the time, Black Fret had signed up their first 100 Members, which funded the first year of operations and a $100k grant fund. Since the Members nominate their favorite local artists, our job was to produce intimate & unique private events for each of the 20 Nominees to showcase their talents. We have photos from a number of these events posted in our Portfolio.

The Black Ball Gala is the culminating year-end event whereby Black Fret awards their grants interspersed with performances from the current year nominees in an Awards Show format.  The evening begins with a Red Carpet Entrance, allowing the Media to capture the Nominees in their best light.  Below are photos from the 2015 Black Ball Gala on Dec 4th at the Paramount Theatre.

Over the course of a 4-hour program, we hosted 15 stellar performances concluding with a special guest appearance from the 73-year old living legend, Ms. Margaret Wright.  Though I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, one undeniable highlight of the evening was a Joe Cocker-esque rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends" led by Nakia and backed by a choir of Black Fret Nominees.  Although you had to be there to get the full effect, this video does it some level of justice.

At the close of year two, Black Fret has grown to include over 250 Members. One can only hope that the organization will continue to evolve and develop, furthering their mission to support local music via patronage and community support.  Please enjoy the performance photos from the Black Ball Gala and contact us if you are interested in attending a Black Fret event.

Beto & the Fairlanes

One of Austin's longest standing musical supergroups, Beto & the Fairlanes recently celebrated their 35th anniversary as a band and simultaneously rolled out their 7th full-length recording, "BEST O BETO."  To honor their accomplishment and ramp up for the album release, their their label orchestrated "35 DAZE of BETO," a PR campaign featuring a 35 consecutive day marathon of performances in and around Austin.

1980 Austin City Limits episode featuring Beto & The Fairlanes

1980 Austin City Limits episode featuring Beto & The Fairlanes

I took a particular interest in this project after hearing the band's manager, label owner and trombonist, Mike Mordecai describe some of the rich stories and novel tales that only a group with such longevity could experience.  The 40+ members of Beto & the Fairlanes, spanning up to three generations of musicians, collectively tell a first-hand account of the history of the Live Music Capitol since it's prime in the late 70's.

To demonstrate the significance of their impact, we hosted a private party at the Gibson Guitar showroom for media and key supporters of the band throughout their career.  The event Emcee, Terry Lickona, screened a nostalgic viewing of the band's 1980 national television debut on Austin City Limits.  We were amazed to hear personal Beto stories from some of the most influential people in the music industry.

35 Years of Beto & the Fairlanes Memorabilia

35 Years of Beto & the Fairlanes Memorabilia

Screening of the 1980 Austin City Limits episode featuring Beto & The Fairlanes

Screening of the 1980 Austin City Limits episode featuring Beto & The Fairlanes

Emcee Terry Lickona (producer of Austin City Limits) and Robert "Beto" Skiles

Emcee Terry Lickona (producer of Austin City Limits) and Robert "Beto" Skiles

Drummer Steve Summer, with Beto's hornline featuring John Mills, Greg Williams, and Rich Haering.

Drummer Steve Summer, with Beto's hornline featuring John Mills, Greg Williams, and Rich Haering.

Other highlighted appearances from "35 DAZE OF BETO" include opening for Bela Fleck and Robert Marcus at One World Theater, an educational workshop at McCallum Highschool for the Grammy® Texas Chapter, a live on-air interview and performance with NPR's Larry Monroe on his 70th birthday, and Austin's Mayor, Lee Leffingwell declaring September 28th "Beto Day" during their performance at City Hall Plaza.

"35 DAZE of BETO" concluded with a grand Full Moon Finale performance at Threadgill's World Headquarters followed by a half-mile conga line through downtown Austin to the Willie Nelson statue.  It was an epic ending to an epic celebration.  BEST O BETO is now available in stores and online through Fable Records.