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Concert review: The Quaker City Nighthawks on Mother’s Day

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The Quaker City Night Hawks

Sunday, May 12

Magnolia Motor Lounge

3005 Morton St., Fort Worth.



Posted 8:56pm on Monday, May. 13, 2013

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and like many people, I got to spend it with my mom. But not everyone is so lucky.

Kenny Kirk and his wife, Kelly, are foster parents, giving a home to those children who don’t have one of their own. Johnny arrived at the Kirk home after testing positive for drugs at only 4 days old (and weighing only 4 pounds). He has been living with them for three years now, and the family is hoping to make that arrangement permanent. But it’s going to require lawyers, and lawyers require money, and that’s where the big-hearted people of Funkytown stepped in.

So on this Mother’s Day, we had local businesses donating raffle prizes and auction items. We had musicians donating their time for a concert, and by the time I arrived at Magnolia Motor Lounge there was a parking lot full of motorcycles and cars.

The smaller items were raffled off, while the bigger items, like a couple of bicycles, custom knives and all-expenses-paid suites for the races at Texas Motor Speedway, were put up for an open auction. A Quaker City Night Hawks album went for $100, the bicycles went for much more than retail, and several thousand dollars were raised through the auction alone.

Speaking of the Quaker City Night Hawks, it was the next band to play after the auction. For the first song, Quaker City drummer Matt Mabe was replaced by 6-year-old Mason Harper. Though he could barely see over the kit, he kept a good beat. (I bet he works cheaper than Mabe, in any case.)

For the rest of the set, the band consisted of Buffalo Sam Anderson (guitar, vocals), Mabe (drums), Andrew Skates (keyboard), David Matsler (guitar, vocals) and Pat Adams (bass).

The Night Hawks have become more than just local heroes; they are starting to get the attention they deserve. In the past year, the band’s music has been featured on TV’s Sons of Anarchy, and it has reportedly hooked up with the Paradigm Agency (which books bands such as Aerosmith and the Smashing Pumpkins).

Quaker City is Southern blues-based rock at its best, with a bit of country thrown in. All these guys are world-class musicians and represent the very best of the Funkytown music scene. That they would spend Mother’s Day headlining a charity gig shows that success hasn’t gone to their heads.

It had been far too long since I was able to catch one of the band’s shows, and I was glad to see it was still doing songs off the first album, as well as some new stuff, like the highly entertaining Queso Blanco. When I last wrote about the band, I commented on hints of classic blues and rock acts I could hear in its sound. Now I hear mostly the Quaker City Night Hawks, as the band has evolved and polished its own sound.

I’m going to have its new CD in my changer for a while.

Though it’s too early for totals, a lot of money was raised for the Kirks on Sunday. That’s a good thing, since they don’t plan to stop until they’ve adopted Johnny. They are dedicated to providing a permanent home for as many as eight children, and if you would like to donate to this worthy, yet expensive undertaking, you can find out more at www.aboynamedjohnny.com.

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