The Marfa Municipal Alliance raises $1,810 for the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend

On Monday, The Marfa Municipal Alliance for Dead Country and Folk Singers’ band leader, Travis Bubenik, and Creative Director Ross Cashiola, along with Executive Producer Suge G’mornin’, aka Pat Keesey, presented a check of $1,710 to Letty Carrillo, the executive director of the Family Crisis Center of The Big Bend. The money was raised during their NYE dance at the USO Hall. Photo by Kat Kane.

MARFA — On Monday, the Marfa Municipal Alliance for Dead Country and Folk Singers’ creative director, Ross Cashiola, and band leader, Travis Bubenik, along with Executive Producer Suge G’mornin’, aka Pat Keesey, presented a check of $1,710 to Letty Carrillo, the director of the Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend. The money was raised during their NYE dance at the USO Hall.

Due to an accounting error, the total donated was actually $1,810 — $100 more than was raised. Executive Producer G’mornin’ said, “Executive producers tend to make accounting errors, but we’re supposed to make ’em in our own favor –– then again, this organization is a little different.”

There are vastly different estimates of attendance at the dance. Many say over 600 people came and went during the course of the night. G’mornin’ and the night’s emcee, David Marwitz, both estimate that the crowd was between 300 and 400 people, a good majority of them tourists. Whatever the actual number, the dance floor was packed from the moment Primo Carasco sang out his first silky words until well past midnight, when the Alliance house band ended the night with Clint Black’s “Killin Time.”

The dance was filled with joy and good cheer all night long. The positive energy percolating from both the crowd and the musicians was palpable. The Alliance house band invited almost 20 local musicians to grace the stage and performed 24 songs during their tribute to Hank Williams (who died on New Year’s in 1953).  

Primo y Beebe opened the night and had folks out of their seats and onto the dance floor immediately. The Alliance set was split in two by a set of Cumbia and Norteno songs by local favorites, Grupo Ambicion, a family band led by Hector Sanchez, along with his sons, Hector, Parker and Christian on drums, guitar and bongos respectively. The dance floor was filled with moving bodies and smiling faces during their entire set, as it was for the entire four hours of live music played during the event.

The event was a success due to the efforts of many folks from the region. Sponsorships from many regional and local businesses, including a HOT grant from “Visit Marfa” helped ensure that the Alliance could throw a good event. Donations from local artisans and businesses, along with all tips to the band went directly to the crisis center. The Alliance musicians learned 24 Hank Williams songs in less than a month and sounded incredible. Both Primo y Beebe and Grupo Ambicion were in top form. Along with Cashiola, Bubenik and Keesey, the party committee made sure everything ran smoothly and easily from start to finish; the party coordinator was Audrey Herrerra, the graphic and advertising guru was Claire Harper-Lindsay, stellar sound was provided by Will Floyd of Field Effect, and the assistant producer and bar manager was Kat Kane. The Marfa Municipal Alliance for Dead Country and Folk Singers was founded by Ross Cashiola, David Beebe and Pat Keesey on Dec. 17, 2017.

When asked if he’d do it again, G’Mornin’ just shook his head and mumbled, “Oh me, oh my oh.”