When he was walking this Earth, playing music for friends and family, Dave Rask's favorite haunt was Avant Garden. The tone of his guitar and his voice seemed to always suit the surroundings. The place is boho, tender and lived-in, just like the man's songs were. Many forget that Rask had a background in religious praise music, which Rocks Off thinks just added to the weight and conviction of each of his compositions. There was an epic mind at work. Tonight at AG, a confederation of Rask's friends and loved ones, including Sara Van Buskirk and Jim and the Toms, will converge on the small venue for a show honoring the late musician who passed away almost three weeks ago. It's still hard for Rocks Off to believe we won't see him carousing down Westheimer some steamy Friday night in his trademark hat and jacket.
The artists and bands performing represent a section the Houston music that Rask was steadfastly loyal to and was himself a part of: besides Buskirk and the Toms, the Gold Sounds, Jacob Houck from the Hungry Villagers, Finnegan and Rask's last band, Death by Texas, will perform. The people in these bands loved and cared about Rask, and the past month has been an emotional one for each and every one of them. Buskirk's work is heavy stuff, and her voice is chilling especially in the tiny confines of Avant.
Tonight's proceeds will go directly to help pay the Rask family pay for bills surrounding Rask's passing, including the tab for the LifeFlight that transported him to Galveston's UTMB Medical Center. The show starts at 8 p.m., and cover is $5. There will be a small raffle of items that have been donated to the cause.
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Avant Garden, 411 Westheimer, 832-519-1429 or www.avantgardenhouston.com.