Rock Bottom Remainders – better known as the musical bastard child of a group of acclaimed authors including Dave Barry and Amy Tan – are getting ready to bust out a four-city tour for Haitian literacy and local non-profit causes.
“Besides the Music: A Conversation With The Rock Bottom Remainders” is a special kickoff event April 20, hosted by veteran ABC News legend Sam Donaldson, at Sidney Harman Hall in the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. That will be followed the next evening with a gig to kick off the 2010 Wordstock Tour at the 9:30 Club in the same city, with Roger McGuinn, a founder of The Byrds, sitting in.
“We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.”
Rock Bottom Remainders has had a fluid lineup since its 1992 debut, including part-timers like Al Kooper, Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon and McGuinn.
This year’s edition comprises Barry and Greg Iles on guitar, James McBride on saxophone, Ridley Pearson on bass, Mitch Albom on keyboards and Tan, RBR founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark and Scott Turow on vocals. Roy Blount Jr. will be on hand as “self-proclaimed crowd pleaser.”
The band will travel by train to Washington D.C. and the 9:30 Club April 21, Philadelphia’s Electric Factory April 22, New York City’s Nokia Theatre in Times Square April 23 and wraps the leg in Boston at The Royal (formerly The Roxy) April 24.
“This concert is a rare chance to see a band that has been hailed by critics as ‘not as bad as you would expect,’” said guitarist and author Dave Barry, and having “one of the world’s highest ratios of noise to talent.”
Barry has also been quoted saying, “We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.”
“Rock Bottom Remainders? Who the hell are they?” responded Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. responded Metallica’s Kirk Hammett.
Previous incarnations of the country’s favorite musical misfits have included such literary luminaries as Stephen King, Maya Angelou, Robert Fulgham, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, Barbara Kingsolver and music critic Joel Selvin.
“These concerts are a great way to raise funds – and raise awareness – for some of America’s best non-profit organizations,” said Pearson Foundation President Mark Nieker. “We hope people will come out to see some great music and have fun, but we’re especially pleased that the band members are donating their own time so that funds raised will go directly to support much-needed education and literacy efforts in Haiti and in the cities where the tour takes place.”
Over the years, the band has raised more than $2 million for charity through their concert tours. And in the literary world, Garrison Keillor would say the writers are all above average: between them they’ve published more than 150 titles and sold more than 200 million books.
For more information, please click here for the Rock Bottom Remainders Web site.