On September 29th at San Francisco’s historic Herbst Theatre, Steve Earle will host an intimate songwriters circle, inviting Emmylou Harris, the Mastersons, and a surprise musical guest to gather in support of Camp Winnarainbow—a circus & performing arts haven for young people, founded in 1975 by Hippie icons Wavy Gravy and Jahanara Romney.
About Camp Winnarainbow
For over 40 years, kids, teens and adults have run away to join the circus at Camp Winnarainbow in beautiful Mendocino County. Campers choose from activities including trapeze, juggling, clowning, unicycling, songwriting, and more. A day begins with a morning reading by Wavy Gravy or another camp leader, including poetry, stories, and daily meditations from texts written by Thich Nhat Hanh, Gary Larson, Pablo Neruda, and others. Drawing from a deep well of performing arts education and strong community building, CWR’s vibrant staff teaches timing, balance and as Wavy Gravy says, “Survival in the 21st century or how to duck with a sense of humor and a dollop of compassion.” Camp Winnarainbow has a remarkable scholarship program, making it a haven for economically disadvantaged kids and kids of rockstars alike; “Kids from every walk of life come together and make a kind of a universal whole at Camp. Everybody gets something from each other and we end up being a community together and filled with love. And wonder.”
Camp Winnarainbow, like many arts education programs, was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit concert is the second of two events supporting Winnarainbow’s general fund, created by Camp Winnarainbow alums and producing partners, Jordan Auleb and Zina Goodall.
About Wavy Gravy
Wavy Gravy, beloved leader of the 60’s counterculture movement and official clown of the Grateful Dead, turned 86 in May. Born Hugh Romney and re-named by B.B. King, Wavy Gravy has spent his life joyfully bringing communities together through art and fun. Once described by Paul Krassner as “the illegitimate son of Harpo Marx and Mother Teresa,” Wavy Gravy has lived a remarkable life as a poet, clown, and activist. His biography reads like an eclectic Who’s Who, including formative experiences with everyone from Albert Einstein to Thelonious Monk, Lenny Bruce to Harrison Ford, Tiny Tim to Bob Dylan. He has MC’d every Woodstock festival, and produced concerts, relief convoys, protests and multiple “Nobody for President” campaigns. In 1975, Wavy and his wife Jahanara Romney founded Camp Winnarainbow, a playful safe haven for children to develop life skills through the performing arts. In 1978, he co-founded the Seva Foundation with Dr. Larry Brilliant and Ram Dass. Wavy Gravy is the author of Something Good for a Change: Random Notes on Peace Thru Living, he is a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, the subject of the acclaimed 2009 film Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie, and of an upcoming podcast entitled American Prankster.
About Emmylou Harris
A 14-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’ contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2018.
Harris is known as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Admired through her career for her talent as an artist and song connoisseur, Harris shook up country radio in the 1970s, and established herself as the premiere songwriter of a generation selling more than 15 million records and garnering 14 Grammy Awards, three CMA Awards, and four Americana Awards.
Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. She has recorded with such diverse artists as Linda Ronstadt, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Beck, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett and Rodney Crowell. Few artists have achieved such honesty or have revealed such maturity in their writing. Forty years into her career, Harris continues to share the hard-earned wisdom that—hopefully if not inevitably—comes with getting older, though she’s never stopped looking ahead.
A longtime social activist, Harris has lent her voice to many causes. Most passionately, to animal welfare. In 2004 she established Bonaparte's Retreat with the goal of rescuing shelter dogs and adopting them into forever homes. To this day, Bonapartte's Retreat continues to save dogs most in need at Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control and at municipal shelters in surrounding counties.
About Steve Earle
Steve Earle is one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation. A protege of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, he quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to No. 1 on the Country Charts and is now regarded as a classic of the Americana genre. Subsequent releases like The Revolution Starts...Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007), and TOWNES (2009) received consecutive GRAMMY® Awards. Restlessly creative across artistic disciplines, Earle has published both a novel and a collection of short stories; produced albums for other artists such as Joan Baez and Lucinda Williams, and acted in films, television (including David Simon's acclaimed The Wire), and on the stage. He currently hosts a radio show for Sirius XM.
In 2009, Earle appeared in the off-broadway play, Samara, for which he also wrote a score that The New York Times described as "exquisitely subliminal." Earle wrote music for and appeared in Coal Country, a riveting public theater play that dives into the most-deadly mining disaster in U.S. history, for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award (running through April 17 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City). His 2020 album Ghosts of West Virginia was named as one of "The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far" by Rolling Stone. Mr. Earle was recently (Nov. 2020) inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and released his 21st studio album J.T. in January 2021 as an homage to his late son Justin Townes Earle. Now Earle is saddling up for the release of his most recent album Jerry Jeff, a 10-track collection comprised of hit tracks and deep-cuts from Jerry Jeff Walker to pay tribute to the colorful cowboy troubadour who passed away in October 2020.
About The Mastersons
The Mastersons are singer-songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. When they're not touring the world as valued longtime members of Steve Earle's band the Dukes, the musical and marital twosome make inspired albums of their own emotionally vivid, deeply humanistic songs. The duo's fourth set of original compositions is the appropriately titled No Time for Love Songs.
The Mastersons, who now call Los Angeles home after stints in Austin, Brooklyn and Terlingua, Texas; recorded No Time for Love Songs at L.A.'s legendary Sunset Sound Recorders with Shooter Jennings; the album was engineered and mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning engineer, Ryan Freeland. Shooter had recruited The Mastersons to play on his albums Family Man (2012) and The Other Life (2013), and they’d recently reunited to work on Tanya Tucker's acclaimed comeback album While I'm Livin', which Jennings co-produced with Brandi Carlile.