Talkin’ Relief

“The fact that we’re sitting here on your birthday, having this conversation at all is a miracle.”

Billy Brimblecom‘s comment is directed at birthday girl Abigail Henderson, but it applies to everyone at the table: Henderson and her husband and band mate Chris Meck, California singer-songwriter Victoria Williams and, last but not least, a doctor (anesthesiologist, actually) from St. Luke’s named Mark Matthews.

It’s Wednesday, April 8, lunchtime at Brio on the Plaza, and, yes, it is rather miraculous they’re all here. A year ago, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which Williams founded in 1994 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, was on the verge of collapse.

Now, thanks in large part to Dr. Matthews, the organization is getting on its feet again, with Williams making a rare appearance in town to play a special benefit this Friday night at Liberty Hall. (Tickets are $20 in advance through Ticketmaster.) I covered most of that this week in my Wayward Son column, so, no need to repeat it all here.

What I didn’t mention in the column is how Williams’ mother’s side of the family is from Belton, Missouri. Even though Williams was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, and has spent most of her life in Southern California, her grandmother and great-grandmother are buried in Belton. Apparently, Williams’ mom is convinced that a departed ancestor was involved in Matthews finding Williams a year ago and subsequently rescuing Sweet Relief. “She thinks mammy’s behind it!” Williams says.

Categories: Music