As Chris Boswell lined up his penalty-laden field goal attempt on Jan. 9, which ultimately led to the Steelers sidestepping the Bengals in the AFC Wild Card game, Giants starting pitcher Jake Peavy kicked off his own set at a Boston fundraiser with The Band's "Shape I'm In," mirroring the mood at Paul Brown Stadium.
Peavy was the last performer to hit the stage on a night that started at 7pm featuring several acts from Bernie Williams to The Chicago All-Stars. The annual event -- "Hot Stove, Cool Music" -- was created in 2000 by Peter Gammons, the Hall-of-Fame sportswriter (and, for one night at least, guitarist) for the Boston Globe. Proceeds from the event are donated to The Foundation To Be Named Later (TFTBNL) serving the disadvantaged youth of greater Boston and Chicago.
"To get to come up here and play music for a great cause, I want to know where to sign up," Peavy said. "We got a chance to spend some time with those (TFTBNL) kids today. Always a fun and exciting, special time. It really takes you back to your youth and lets you know what’s important in life. To go out and play music tonight and get to raise lots of money doing something we all love, I’m happy to be here."
Peavy and his "Band Of Cohorts" -- led by guitarist Ben Jernigan from Mobile, Alabama, vocalist/trumpet player Jennifer Hartswick hailing from Nashville, guitarist/songwriter Jackie Greene from Northern California, and guitarist/gunslinger Doug Pettibone from Southern California -- hit the stage locked and loaded ... all 10 of them.
Hey, it's a DH town.
Playing a surprisingly tight yet loose set (it's tough to rehearse these things in one day) the group expanded the songs to allow onstage musicians to explore solos. From "Shape I'm In" they eased in to JJ Cale's "I've Got The Same Old Blues" -- the band getting their footing. It was then that the show took off for me. Sliding (literally) in to Garcia/Hunter's "Sugaree," Greene took the helm of a song he knows well.
At this point, the night went from a charity event to a musical event. It was not just good, it was great. From there they jumped into "Shakedown Street" by the Grateful Dead. And they absolutely killed it, shocking me in the process.
I'm not a fan of the tune (I am a huge fan of the Grateful Dead) but their take on the piece was original and vibrant. It was southern fried chicken with guacamole.
Next up was The Stones "Gimme Shelter," which was fine but I was still vibrating from the last two songs and I think the band might have been as well.
As Peavy kicked into "Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad," I knew the night was coming to an end, but couldn't help but think what would happen if this crew could actually do a tour...