For the members of Sedona Grateful Dead cover band American Beauty, homelessness is something that hits home for them and if there’s anything they all have in common, it’s deadhead music and combating homelessness.
“I don’t think people realize how prevalent it is here,” said the group’s lead guitarist Rob Marshman, who models his style after Jerry Garcia. “Most people just associate Sedona with tourism.”
Rhythm guitarist August West said he’s watched friends and others in the local music scene in Sedona go in between housing situations.
“A lot of musicians in Sedona are getting priced out or are already in between homes,” West said; he now lives in Cottonwood. “Even Cottonwood is starting to get too expensive.”
On Nov. 11, American Beauty, along with at least 13 other local bands, will perform at Relics Restaurant & Roadhouse for Sedona Bands Together, hosted by the Sedona Area Homeless Alliance.
SAHA was founded in 2015 and is solely funded by private community donations. The group’s mission includes advocacy as well as mobilizing the community to come up with long-term, permanent solutions to homelessness.
One of the main projects the organization does is called Project 45Degrees and Below, which shelters homeless men, women and children inside warm rooms when the temperature at night falls below 45 degrees.
Advocate and co-founder of SAHA Laurie Moore said for the benefit show, there will be two stages set up inside Relics and as one band stops playing, another one will start.
Moore said the idea for the format of the show was conceived when she started calling bands to do a benefit concert and got very few no’s. “I ended up having more than 10 bands saying they’d do it,” she said.
“The music community in Sedona has a long history in being the most caring and giving out there as far as volunteering.” Moore said this is because a lot of musicians in Sedona have been homeless themselves. “One thing that we discovered is we already knew some of the homeless and some of them are part of the music community,” she said. “The music community is just so open to supporting this event.” The benefit show will kick off what she hopes will be an annual event, and
it also includes an area for kids with music and face painting. This won’t be the first time members of American Beauty have played a show to combat homelessness and poverty. “The first time we got together was at the Sedona Hub for a Habitat for Humanity benefit show against hunger,” West said.
“It was called the Grateful Bread show.” So when Moore called American Beauty to see if they’d do the show, the obvious answer was yes. “We know Laurie will make sure the money raised goes to the right place,” West said. “We really hope people come out to it.”
What: Sedona Bands Together; 10 straight hours of music from more than a dozen local bands
When: Saturday, Nov. 11. Children’s area open from 2 to 7 p.m. Adult event is 2 p.m. to midnight
Where: Relics Restaurant & Roadhouse
Cost: All day pass: $35 Half-day pass: $20 Children under 16 with an adult are free