Elvis Costello Heads Up Benefit Show for the Musician Treatment Foundation in Austin: With T Bone Burnett & Charlie Sexton, he will revisit King of America – Music

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Elvis Costello will perform at ACL-Live at the Moody Theater in December to raise money for the Musician Treatment Foundation, an Austin and New York-based nonprofit that offers surgical procedures and medical care to musicians with problems with their hands, shoulders, and elbows.

The King of America and Other Kingdoms The show is produced by midas-touch musician T Bone Burnett and has Austin’s Charlie Sexton, who has been playing guitar in Costello’s band since last year, as musical director. The benefit concert, which will take place Dec. 2, also includes performances by Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal as well as longtime Austin resident Allan Mayes, who co-fronted the folk rock band Rusty with a teenager Costello (then known as DP MacManus) in the early 70s. Rusty reunited this summer for a surprisingly late debut album The resurrection of rust. There are more artists to announce, including one that single-handedly made headlines downtown.

The show is geared around material from Costello’s 1986 Back to Roots album king of america, which Burnett produced. In a statement today, he explained the case and this opportunity to revisit it:

“King Of America” ​​was my first full collaboration with T Bone Burnett, who produced and cast the record. It was the first album I did after “My Aim Is True” that wasn’t played entirely with the Attractions. The songs I had written invited a very different instrumental approach. T Bone took a fountain pen and wrote a cast list for an album that made my head spin, offering and then booking players who had backed Elvis Presley, John Lennon, George Harrison and Bob Dylan.

In the 37 years since we made this record, my world has opened up more and more to play and sing with a wide variety of musicians, but the songs on “King Of America” ​​remain close to my heart, written as they were from my understanding of American country. -the soulful ballad and narrative song tradition found on my other albums that T Bone has produced; “Spike”, “Secret Profane & Sugarcane” and “National Ransom”.

Now is the time and the right opportunity to open the door and revisit these tracks and others written from the same curiosities, inviting friends and new voices to enjoy “King Of America & Other Realms”.

Costello and his wife, singer and jazz pianist Diana Krall, serve on the board of directors of the Musician Treatment Foundation, founded five years ago by Dr. Alton Barron, an Austin-based orthopedic surgeon who also works in New York. . MTF, with a mission simply stated as “Make the Music Play”, provides free or greatly reduced care to musicians with upper extremity diseases. In half a decade, the foundation has helped hundreds of professional musicians with care totaling nearly $2 million.

Several thousand dollars of that figure could be attributed to myself, as the Musician Treatment Foundation came to my rescue — financially and physically — when I suffered a hand injury this spring. Allow my story to attest to MTF’s service to musicians:


My poor crooked finger before seeing Dr. Alton Barron of the Musician Treatment Foundation.

I felt no pain when my finger stopped acting like my finger. I still don’t know exactly when it happened, other than it was during an all-court basketball race in April. It took someone exclaiming “Jesus man, look at your hand” for me to notice: my ring finger was oddly collapsed and seemingly disembodied from my brain.

What I felt over the next few days with my finger taped to an ice cream stick (because its unnatural angle would otherwise make viewers uncomfortable) was anxiety. I was afraid of having to cancel a next series of concerts in Europe. I was afraid that my hand, and therefore my ability to play string instruments, would never be close to 100%.

When I tried to play the mandolin, it felt like the other four workhorses in my left hand were dragging around a corpse. I canceled a few gigs and turned down even more. I almost got to the point where I was considering becoming… a drummer.

After a primary care doctor examined me and told me I needed to see a specialist, I learned that the next available appointment was in six weeks – an impossible timeframe for me. So I did what many musicians do in times of medical danger, I posted an “Oh I’m so screwed” message on social media, after which I was contacted by support staff at Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, who helped me understand my options and what each would cost. Among the options, they recommended that I contact the Musician Treatment Foundation and call them on my behalf.

They weren’t the only ones. Many musicians messaged me to make sure I knew about MTF. When a representative from the foundation contacted me, they noted that more than two people had reached out and informed them of my issue.

Over the next two months, Dr. Barron saw me for seven separate appointments, during which my ring finger transformed from a useless appendage to a fully functioning member of the band in my left hand. Beyond assessments, x-rays and care instructions, Dr. Barron’s knowledge of musician-specific hand health gave me confidence and erased the mental distress the injury was causing me. The total amount I paid: $0.00.

After our last date together, Dr. Barron and I celebrated by meeting at a concert where his cousin, the infamous experimental vibraphonist, percussionist and big-hearted artist Thor Harris, was playing. When I praised Dr. Barron for saving my hand, he joked that most of what he provided for me was therapy. It’s true: knowing that an organization like the Musician Treatment Foundation is there to volunteer its time and expertise to help musicians stay physically healthy helps me sleep at night.


Tickets for the single King of America and other kingdoms concert, which raises funds that directly support MFT’s mission, goes on sale Friday at 10 a.m., here

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