Star-studded Valentine’s Eve concert raises money for neighbors to the west

NEW MEXICO — Jo Harvey and Terry Allen, the multi-hyphenate artist and the famed county musician, are inviting Marfa residents to attend a free virtual benefit concert, Food for Love, which they have organized as a fundraiser for the New Mexico Association of Food Banks.

The Valentine’s Eve event kicks off at 6 p.m. on February 13 and will showcase performances from the likes of Lyle Lovett, The Chicks, David Byrne and Jackson Browne, among nearly 60 other artists.

The Allen couple, both born in West Texas, were returning to their home in Santa Fe after a benefit concert for Austin performers last spring when the idea for a New Mexico benefit came to mind.

“We were mostly aware of the dire straits that the Native American people and pueblos were in,” Jo Harvey said. As they learned more, the desperate situation of food access in New Mexico became more apparent. “One in three children don’t have enough food in New Mexico and one in five adults,” she said. “It’s the second poorest state in the U.S., but the food issue is terrible right now.”

Having just participated in a successful music-based benefit fundraiser, Jo Harvey and Terry called upon friends and fellow performers. The outpouring of support became overwhelming. One friend offered to cover the costs to promote and set up the virtual event, meaning every dollar donated goes to fighting New Mexico hunger. And even $1 goes far, Jo Harvey said: each dollar converts to four square meals the association of food banks can provide.

The Allens have become staples of Marfa stages, usually performing here at least once a year, and producing Terry’s last album in town. “Marfa has always, really felt like our hometown,” said Jo Harvey this week. They hope friends and fans will join the free event, even just to spread a little joy.

“We think everybody has been in such a turmoil with COVID, just shut down right and left, and politics and everything else, that we just want to do something good. We all want to do something for our neighbors,” she said. “It’s a celebration we all need.”

Ahead of the Saturday premiere, the event page already boasted over $100,000 raised to combat hunger. Visit foodforlove.org to donate, see the full lineup of country, rock and folk stars and to join the event this Saturday.


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