The 2016 Music for the Wild is getting a reboot, thanks to a few Billings folks, most notably community booster Anna Paige and musician Parker Brown.
The event, set for Saturday, May 21, at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company’s Garage Pub, is a fundraiser for the Montana Wilderness Society.
Parker credits Paige for bringing the event back to its glory years a decade ago when the party was one of the premier live music events of the year.
Brown’s old band, Tyler Burnett, headlined the show a decade ago. Brown is making a return to the event with his new Parker Brown Band, which includes Erik Olson, Keller Paulson and the Bleeding Hearts Horn Section.
“I guess I’m nostalgic about this show,” Brown said. “It used to be such a big deal. A lot of the credit needs to go to Anna Paige. She’s worked really hard to bring this back.”
Brown’s recent Kickstarter campaign, which expires the morning of the event, exemplifies his popularity. The original goal was to raise $3,800 to record and produce a new album, featuring all original material. That goal was reached weeks ago and as of May 13, an extra $500 was pledged to the project. Brown said that will allow him to add some nice touches, including hiring Billings artist Louis Habeck to design the cover art.
The album will be released in August with a big party for donors at Art House Cinema and Pub. This show on Saturday will give Billings fans a preview to the new material off the upcoming album.
“This band is big. I’ve got this great horn section and Becky Sappington and Chris Smith as backup singers,” Brown said.
Also performing on May 21 are Grant Jones and Ryan Kabeary.
Brown describes the new music as a combination of all the genres he loves, jazz in the tradition of New York musician Joe Henry, and folk, ala John Hiatt.
Charlie Smillie, field director of the Eastern Montana chapter of the Montana Wilderness Association, said money raised at the event will help fund a program to get a scientist into the Pryor Mountains for research.
"This event will sponsor work in the community that supports our mission," Smillie said.
Admission is $8 at the door. Doors open at 4 and the music runs from 5 to 8 p.m.