Posted by: Maggie Ross | July 22, 2010

“Nashville Sings For Larry Wayne Clark” benefit June 14

Our friend Robyn Taylor-Drake came up with the suggestion of a benefit for Larry and in spite of his initial fears, he was persuaded that not only would people show up but that they would want to support him.

An amazing team consisting of Robyn, Christine McKay-Ross, LuAnn Reid, Doak Turner and Jeff Walter was assembled. Many of Larry’s co-writers volunteered to perform songs they’d written with him, items were donated for the auction (including home made cakes and pies), and the thing actually happened on June 14 at the Red Rooster on Demonbreun Street in Nashville.

We weren’t sure we were going to be able to be there. Some negotiation with the oncologist was required, and then the airmiles angel (aka Susie McGregor) made it possible for us to take a five day trip to Music City, so not only were we able to be at the benefit but we were also able to get together with our friends for dinners, lunches and just good ol’ visiting.

The whole thing was truly amazing, humbling and whatever other adjectives are appropriate, and we’re so grateful to everyone involved especially the players and performers.

This is the myspace blog Larry wrote about the event:

Nashville Sang For LWC

It’s been a long time since any words of wisdom, reflection or pure nonsense have made an appearance here. Time to remedy that, and there is a great deal of news…

Some of you may know that I was diagnosed with cancer in Nashville in late February. That prompted a quick trip north to Canada where Maggie and I have free health insurance. Further tests revealed that I would need months, maybe years, of chemotherapy. So living in Nashville for the foreseeable future was out of the equation.
We returned to Nashville and immediately began packing up our house. Our friend, and my frequent co-writer, Marc Rossi, will begin renting it in August.
Meanwhile, Maggie and I have relocated to New Brunswick, two time zones and a 26-hour drive away from Nashville. Why? Support system mainly. Although we’ve spread out far and near, my family is all originally from the Saint John area. I was born in Montreal but spent many summer vacations here, and I feel rooted and calm on the Atlantic coast. I have a lot of relatives living in the area and we are currently residing in a comfortable house owned–but rarely used–by my cousin Nancy and her husband Jim. (They spend most of the year in Florida or at their summer place.)And, except for the morning fog and a the anticipation of a “real” Canadian winter (we got spoiled in Vancouver and then Nashville), it’s quite beautiful with a view of the water around every bend and a whiff of salt in the air.
Like the old song says, “Look for the silver lining.” Since my diagnosis, and the scary whirlwind of uprooting and relocation that followed, we’ve been amazed by the generosity and well wishes of more friends than we even knew we had. This good vibes-fest culminated in a benefit that was mounted on my behalf Monday June 14th at Nashville’s Red Rooster Bar & Grill. The event was spearheaded by Robyn Taylor-Drake, LuAnn Reid, Christine McKay, Doak Turner and Jeff Walter, all of whom worked amazingly hard to make it a special night, which they proclaimed Nashville Sings For Larry Wayne Clark.

We weren’t sure we’d be able to attend the benefit, but thanks to donated air miles we managed a five-day trip to Nashville. Not even the daunting 95-plus F. temperatures and dripping humidity could prevent us from having a spectacular time, getting reacquainted with dear friends, eating at our favorite restaurants…and then of course came the main event.

The benefit was dazzling: the Red Rooster was packed with people we knew, people we barely knew, and a handful we didn’t know at all…mainly friends and fans of some of the performers, some from distant states (CMA Music Fest had just ended). Doak Turner hosted. Robyn and LuAnn were constantly busy wrangling the crowd and tending to various duties. Christine, sadly, could not be there; shortly before the event her ailing father passed away in Canada. Her husband, James Ross, assumed her duties very efficiently, but Christine was sorely missed.

And the performances! For nearly three hours the stage was occupied by an array of superb singers and songwriters I’ve been fortunate enough to have in my life. There were in-the-row acoustic offerings from Erinn Bates, Chelsee Oaks, Adam Gregory, Ryan Laird, Emma Mae Jacob, Cassidy Lynn, Shawn Dodd, Lauren Lucas and Jared Blake. A house band consisting of my good friends Scott Neubert, Steve Holland and Bobby King provided stellar backing for Andrea Pearson, Wendy Newcomer, Buddy Jewell and Robin English. Fifteen-year-old Kaitlyn Baker–the pride of Pound, Virginia, and beginning to turn heads in Nashville–closed the show with an inspiring performance of “I Wanna Live Like That.”

I watched and listened with a smorgasbord of reactions: I felt humble, proud, thrilled…and wondered what on earth I’d done to deserve this as one after another singer sang not only our songs but my praises. Meanwhile, an auction was taking place of items that included a Chris Young-autographed guitar, signed song lyrics, cakes and pies and services of all description. A CD of some song demos and indie masters entitled LWC Favorites: Songs Of Larry Wayne Clark was also available for purchase (also available online at

It was a wonderful night. We flew out of Nashville Wednesday morning a few thousand dollars richer and with heads and hearts filled with memories that will be indelible. That’s the stuff that matters…you can’t buy it, sell it, steal it, and you can take it with you.

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