Bayou City

Notable Music-Related Harvey Donations and Fundraisers (So Far)

ZZ Top's stop at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre will help boost the Houston area's recovery with style.
ZZ Top's stop at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre will help boost the Houston area's recovery with style. Photo by Eric Sauseda
The ink isn't even dry on the damage estimates yet, but Hurricane Harvey, which laid waste to the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Sabine Pass last week, is already thought to be the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. Recovery could take months or even years, but some of the psychic scarring inflicted by the storm could last longer still.

Just don’t tell that to the following musicians. Devastating as Harvey has been, the outpouring of support for those affected by the storm from the entertainment community — joining their counterparts in sports, technology and many other sectors — has been equally staggering. In just over a week, these artists have already pledged millions of dollars between them, among other means of assistance, with many more surely to follow in the weeks and months to come.

Therefore, this list is not intended to be comprehensive but permeable — there’s plenty of room for more. If you are able, please help us add to it — and then give generously. This is what's come across our radar so far, in no particular order.

Who else but the venerable hometown rockers to help shift the area’s recovery effort into overdrive? For their debut stop at Sugar Land’s Smart Financial Centre this Sunday, said to be sold out, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and the venue plan to donate $100,000 to “local agencies handling the recovery effort,” according to the Top’s PR machine. “We’re hoping that it marks a turning point in the crisis and is a reflection of the indomitable spirit that typifies Texans and Houstonians in particular,” says the ever-quotable Billy Gibbons.

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Queen Bey’s website links to her “BeyGOOD Houston” partners in aiding Harvey victims, among them Bread of Life, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Greater Houston Community Foundation — established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner last week and already up to nearly $30 million — and Texas Southern University. Surely Beyonce, who turned 36 on Monday, will have more to say on the subject soon.

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Beyonce’s bohemian younger sister and one of 2017’s top festival headliners (including Austin City Limits next month) announced last week she will team up with the Sun Ra Arkestra for a benefit concert September 28 at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre dubbed “Orion’s Rise.” Let’s hope that one makes its way to YouTube.

The Woodlands-raised troubadour, whose Trouble In Mind album captures the scruffy, scrappy Gulf Coast state of mind in novelistic detail, will donate the take from his September 16 show at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom to MusicCares, the Grammys’ musician-assistance charity which has lately started a specific fund to aid those in the music community affected by Harvey. His fellow Texans Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Eli Young Band are part of the flotilla of other country stars aiding relief efforts.

Trae tha Truth rode along as his local fire department conducted water rescues during last week's heavy flooding.
Photo courtesy of OGPR
Long known for a generous streak that belies the name of his Assholes By Nature brand, the veteran Houston rapper aided in last week’s water rescues and has appealed for donations through his Angel By Nature nonprofit, with a focus on on senior citizens and the underserved in the Houston area and Golden Triangle. Donate here.

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Poster by Mobsolete
Among his many other heroic efforts since Harvey’s landfall, Suffers manager and The Convoy Group founder Mark C. Austin sent out an appeal Sunday for Houston musicians to report lost gear, gigs and other storm-related damages to their livelihoods to [email protected].

The eclectic Houston-based indie label and Midtown patio bar Axelrad are planning eight days of benefits from September 6-13 entitled “A Week of Love.” Performers include Kermit Ruffins, Gio Chamba, French Kids, Miears, Let Me Remember, Velveteen Echo, Handsomebeast, Mojave Red, Birthday Club, Squincy Jones, Dayta, Steph Cooksey, Pitter Patter, Nikkhoo, JERK, La Real Academia, Brother Boyer, Parker Luis Can't Lose, The Tomes, and many more. Axelrad will match all donations up to $5,000; proceeds will go to a network of nonprofits known as the Youcaring Hurricane Harvey Campaign.

Now ubiquitous thanks to impending new album Reputation, the mega-pop star is feeling much more charitable towards the Houston Food Bank than to her many rivals; Houston’s ABC 13 reported Monday that Swift had made made a “very sizable donation” to the community pantry. Trivia: apparently her mom is a UH alum; go Coogs!

After seeing footage of Harvey’s devastation, the flamboyant pop star and sometime Flaming Lips collaborator was moved to donate $500,000 toward relief efforts, then got choked up talking about it on Ellen last week.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was mercifully spared Harvey’s wrath, so this Thursday’s show by the popular ‘90s pop-rockers is a go — and free to first responders and their families (ID required). Fans are asked to bring non-perishable donation items, which will go to the Houston Food Bank; the band is chipping in their share of the night’s merch sales.

The pop-punk superheroes announced last Wednesday that all proceeds from their November 7 concert at Houston’s Toyota Center will go toward Harvey relief efforts.

After last year’s terrible flooding in Baton Rouge, notes the Jazz Foundation of America, it took two weeks to connect with some 30 musicians who needed assistance from the organizations, which aids jazz, blues and roots musicians. One day after Harvey swept through, that number was 70…and climbing. According to their website, “The musicians are starting to pour in, and we need you dearly now to give whatever you are able so we can begin to help in the weeks and months ahead.” The goal is $100,000; donate at

The radio-friendly ‘00s rockers’ show tonight at House of Blues will proceed as scheduled, with a new song for the set list: “Shine Like Gold,” which premiered last week at Proceeds from the single (including a pay-what-you-wish option) benefit local recovery efforts via the Food For the Hungry foundation.

Mucky Duck regulars including Jack Saunders, Rick Richards, Randy Weeks, Libby Koch, Chuck Hawthorne, Rankin Peters, The Mighty Orq and more will swap songs tonight and pass the hat for the mayor’s relief fund and Houston Humane Society. Tickets are $20; show is standing-room only. Donate here.

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Splice Records
The Houston-based label, home to the John Evans Band, Pecos Hank and Ancient Cat Society, among others, is teaming up with the Southern Drinking Club and Night Owl Printing in a campaign to raise at least $10,000 for relief efforts by selling three “Houston Hang In There” T-shirts, designed by local graphic artist Chad Ehlinger, for $25. They’re very choice; buy here.

Last Friday, the high-profile couple pledged $1 million intended to, according to the announcement, “focus on the smaller towns surrounding the Houston area. Medical emergencies and restoration of homes are seen as priorities.”

Last week the Grammy-winning Tejano/Norteño group founded in the Rio Grande Valley town of Zapata announced an unspecified donation to the Red Cross, and a challenge to their fans and fellow artists through a statement from singer Ricardo Muñoz:

Most of all I want to use this space to invite all our colleagues, fellow musicians, our fans to donate to the Red Cross however they can. That would be incredible. Houston has always been a joyful city. Whenever we go, they come, they support…we can always count on Houston…with the public, with the people, with their support, with everything. I know that this is not only true for INTOCABLE, but for many of our many fellow musicians. And if they can help, that’s all we want.

Is there something we missed? Let us know at [email protected].
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray