Jam band superstars appear at Soulshine | VailDaily.com

Jam band superstars appear at Soulshine

Andy Stonehouse
Eagle County Charter Academy teacher Bobby Silverman's memorial service is 10 a.m. today in Beaver Creek's Vilar Center. Bobby leaves behind two small sons. An education fund has been established for them. Instead of buying flowers, contribute to the Canon and Tyler Silverman Memorial Education Fund, Colorado Business Bank, P.O. Box 2826, Edwards, CO 81632.

It’s good to know you’ve got good friends – friends who are willing to help out for an important cause.

On Saturday, the many friends of the late Bobby Silverman, including both locals and a significant pool of nationally known talent, will gather at the Ford Amphitheater for a day of music to celebrate Silverman’s life.

Soulshine, a concert featuring Widespread Panic vocalist John Bell and New Orleans musical fixtures the Radiators and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (plus a half dozen other acts), helps round out a very busy week at the Amphitheater – Norah Jones’ sold-out concert also hits the outdoor venue on Thursday.

For those involved in the Soulshine show, it’s been a labor of love – and an emotional reminder of Silverman’s untimely death. Silverman, a middle school social studies teacher at the Charter School, died May 7 from heart disease. Silverman was only 34 and left behind his wife Kari and two young children, Canon and Tyler; Saturday’s benefit will not only help Silverman’s family but will also serve as the launching point for a new Vail Valley charity designed to help other families coping with the sudden loss of a spouse.

Sue Provost, Silverman’s sister-in-law, is serving as chair of the show and says she hopes that the benefit will turn into an annual event.

“We can’t bring Bobby back and we can’t take the pain away, but we can help with some financial stability for his family – and that helps take away some of the fear and pain they’re facing,” Provost said.

Provost said a portion of the proceeds from Saturday’s concert will go to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and the not-quite-yet-established Tyca Fund (named after Silverman’s children), an organization she hopes will provide financial assistance to new widows and widowers in the valley.

“It takes at least 12 to 16 weeks to accomplish anything financial when a spouse dies, anything from Social Security to life insurance,” she said. “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re out of luck. So we’d like to be able to offer assistance, including day care, counselling and financial help, while people are waiting.”

And while her brother had befriended many of the top names in the jam band and New Orleans musical worlds, Provost said this weekend’s concert wouldn’t be possible without the help of event co-chair Geoff Hanson – star of the Colorado cult favorite “Scrapple” and director of “The Earth Will Swallow You,” a recent concert movie/documentary profiling Widespread Panic.

“Geoff was a very good friend of my brother and he’s got some very good contacts,” Provost says. “He was able to get in touch with John Bell directly – John does one benefit concert a year, and he and some of the other Widespread Panic members knew Bobby. Bobby always went to Telluride and New Orleans and had followed the Dead and Widespread Panic … he was a fun-loving, concert-going kind of guy who lived life to its fullest.”

Provost said Hanson helped her and other event organizers contact everyone from the String Cheese Incident to Leftover Salmon, even hoping to attract Blues Traveler’s John Popper to take part in the show.

“After a while, we had bands calling us to play and we actually had to turn some people down,” she said. Originally, Provost planned to have the show a weekend later to accommodate New Orleans band Papa Grows Funk – one of Silverman’s favorites from his most recent trip to JazzFest – but opted to maximize on Bell’s availability, with Widespread Panic in Colorado to play dates this week in Telluride.

Provost said she’s also hoping that Vail music fans will follow their traditional last minute planning style and show up in droves for Saturday’s show; about 100 reserved seats are still available and there’s plenty of lawn tickets still up for grabs.

“Ticket sales have been doing pretty well, although we’ve got a huge amount of competition for Saturday’s show. I know a lot of people will be in Telluride seeing the full band play this week. We did specifically gear things for locals – we didn’t initially advertise the show in the Front Range because we wanted locals to have a first shot at the tickets, and we ended up having several people lined up at 5:30 a.m. when the first tickets went on sale.”

Saturday’s show begins at 3 p.m. and features the El Buho Project, Tishamingo and Waylandsphere (featuring Cecil “P-Nut” Daniels) as some of the early acts.

Perennial New Orleans favorites the Radiators will get things rolling a bit later in the evening, followed by a solo acoustic set by John Bell and a full brass blowout featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

General admission tickets are $40 and reserved seats are $60; tickets are available through the Ford Amphitheater box office (476-2918), online at http://www.vvf.org or at B-Side Music and Mojo Music.

Support Local Journalism