Jason Mraz, left, and Vince Gill performing together at Club Nokia. (Daizy Neri/Living Out Loud LA)
For the first time in nearly three years, the annual All for the Hall fundraising concert came back to Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, March 4, at Club Nokia, eminent actress, singer, and film producer Rita Wilson hosted the event, which featured performances by Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris, both Country Music Hall of Fame members. Also joining them was Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson from Heart, as well as award-winning artist Jason Mraz.
The concert was performed in a traditional “guitar pull” format, where singers and songwriters gather and swap songs and stories. A traditional Nashville style that was best known for its spontaneity and intimate collaboration.
Gill started the show by introducing everyone, and getting the audience involved with jokes and stories. He personally opened the night with a Buck Owens classic “Together Again.” A wonderful song that Gill sang, accompanied by a beautiful story, was “Whenever You Come.” A song where he paid tribute to his wife, Amy Grant, and described how it was inspired by the first time he saw her smile. It’s a melody that, to this date, is his favorite song to sing and has been recently recorded by Willie Nelson.
Emmylou Harris began by singing her original composition “Home Sweet Home.” Harris has a very vivid way of connecting with the audience in that she’s able to describe what each song meant to her and why she was singing it. “Tears In Heaven,” an Eric Clapton cover, was an amazing sad song that was enhanced by her amazing vocals.
Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson performed “Sand.” This song was accompanied by a very heartfelt story about the loss of their gardener to aids. Inspired by his wish to have his ashes scattered in the garden, the Wilson sisters said that, “this song came out of that experience.” The Wilson sisters also had the great pleasure and opportunity to sing “Through the morning, Through the Night,” (Dillard and Clark cover) where they were accompanied by Gill. This definitely was a highlight moment for Ann where she said, “That was one for my bucket list.”
Also on stage was Mraz, who sang “Frank D. Fixer.” This track was inspired by his grandfather. Mraz jokingly said, “Is probably the only song I have that is close to being a country song.”
Mraz definitely stood out in this group by singing some of his well known hits “I Won’t Give Up” and “I’m Yours.” Mraz had the audience engaged in laughter when he explained how he came up with the song “I’m Yours.” He depicted being in Jamaica and not having any recollection of writing the song, because he just might have or not been under the influence. His biggest song to date came out of an experience where he described the experience of music as, “Songs are an opportunity to surrender to something else that sings through me.”
Gill jokingly commented on Mraz’s remarks, “I think you’re on to something.”
Three special guests graced the crowd with their amazing songs and stories. Rita Wilson performed “Still Gone,” a song about the loss of a loved one. Followed by Holly Williams, representing the first family of country music (granddaughter of Hank Williams Sr.) performed “Waiting On June.” She performed this lovely song with her husband on stage, in remembrance of her grandparents.
The last special guest of the night was emerging singer-songwriter Camaron Ochs, who sang “Burning House.” Ochs was inspired to write it because of a past relationship and a dream she had about apologizing to him.
For more information on the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, visit www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
Vince Gill: “Together Again” (Buck Owens Cover)
Emmylou Harris: “Home Sweet Home”
Heart: “Dog & Butterfly”
Jason Mraz: “Frank D. Fixer”
Rita Wilson: “Still Gone”
Vince Gill: “I Can’t Be Myself” (Merle Haggard Cover)
Emmylou Harris: “Orphan Girl” (Gillian Welch Cover)
Heart: “Through The Morning, Through The Night” (Dillard & Clark Cover)
Jason Mraz: “I Won’t Give Up”
Holly Williams: “Waiting On Jane”
Vince Gill: “Whenever You Come Around”
Emmylou Harris: “Tears In Heaven” (Eric Clapton Cover)
Jason Mraz: “I’m Yours”
Camaron Ochs: “Burning House”
Vince Gill: “Bartender’s Blues” (George Jones Cover)