THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support Japan last night!

From the department of “just another day in the Groover’s paradise”…

What a rush to get to play with David Garza last night at Vino Vino to raise money for the American Red Cross fund for victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami!

It’s such a trip to be around David: he breaths music (as Céline Dijon noted when we were recording together last month in Austin). On stage, you never know what wonder-filled notes will stream from his voice and his fingers. My favorite number was a medley of “Electric Avenue” and “Pass the Dutchie” — in a minor key!

Later in the evening, the amazing Suzanna Choffel sat in a for a few numbers and all the while legendary Austin music photographer Todd Wolfson played percussion. A truly and utterly incredible experience for me.

And the 2008 single-vineard Erbaluce Cariola by Luigi Ferrando was awesome at the end of the night: gorgeous popping acidity, bright fruit, and righteous alcohol at 12.5%. Great wine…

We raised more than $1,200 for the American Red Cross fund for victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami (if you’d like to contribute, just click here).

Singing with David Garza for Japan tonight in Austin

The above photo is little bit blurry and it’s hard to make out what’s going on in it. But it’s one of my favorite photos of the year so far: me with one of my musical heroes, David Garza, in the studio recording the new Nous Non Plus record last month, snapped by Tracie P through the control room window.

David is one of the most remarkable singer-songwriters I have ever seen or heard and you can imagine how thrilled I was when he agreed to play on our album (which we started mixing in Los Angeles today, btw). And he’s a super sweet and generous dude…

That’s David wearing Céline Dijon’s hair, with me (Cal d’Hommage) and Jean-Luc Retard (on the right).

David’s going to be singing for Japan tonight at Vino Vino in Austin: there’s no cover and Jeff Courington, who owns and runs this awesome wine bar, is going to be donating 25% of sales to the Red Cross Fund for Victims of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Please join us if you can (I’ll be sitting in on a song or two and Tracie P will be there, too) and please remember our sisters and brothers in Japan.

Help Japan in Austin and hear me sing some Beatles songs

Word has it that I’ll be emceeing and even sitting in on a few Beatles songs with my friend David on April 25 in Austin… The below is from the Vino Vino blog… I hope you can join us…

“Japan Nuclear Disaster Put on Par With Chernobyl” is the headline in today’s yesterday’s New York Times. Victims of the recent tragedy in Japan need our help. Vino Vino is partnering with Austin music legend David Garza (above, photo by Dan Crane) to lend a helping hand from Austin, Texas.

Vino Vino Benefit for Japan Earthquake Relief
Monday, April 25, 2011
doors 5:30 p.m.
$5 door donation and 25% of sales
will go to the American Red Cross fund for victims
of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

Musical host David Garza, plus musical guests to be announced.



Ray Benson and me “Stand for Haiti” tonight at Vino Vino

From the “shameless self-promotion” (and “after all, it’s for a good cause”) department…

I wasn’t allowed to announce this until now since it was “top secret” until this morning: Austin music legend Ray Benson (and one of my personal musical heroes) will be appearing tonight at the “Stand for Haiti” benefit at Vino Vino in Austin where I will be emceeing.

I cannot conceal that I am completely and utterly geeked and psyched to be sharing the stage with him and all the other great Austin musicians who are donating their time tonight to help out the folks in Haiti.

If you happen to be in town, Tracie B and I will be there from 6 p.m. onward ’til the end of the night.

The photo, left, is by Austin music photographer Ed Verosky, who generously donated rights to the photo to help us promote the event. Thanks, Ed!

A benefit for battered Asian women Nov. 14 and weird Austin painted cars

Above: Austin loves to keep itself weird and even has a website for the sake of weird. I don’t know the phenomenon’s origins but Austinites love to paint their cars. All of the images were taken using my Blackberry, captured as Tracie B and I drive around town.

Support, Advocate, Heal, Empower, Listen, Inform: saheli means friend in Hindi. Linda Phan, the executive director of Saheli Austin, a non-profit group that provides support for battered Asian women, has asked me to speak about wine and wine pairing at the organization’s November 14 fundraiser event.

A week from Saturday, we will be pairing European and Texan wines with Asian food at Saheli’s “Discover Asia Through Wine” benefit for victims of domestic violence.

Riesling and Grüner Veltliner are obvious choices when it comes to pairing wine with the often intensely spicy flavors of Asian cuisine, and both grapes will be well represented, of course.

But I think we’re also going to have fun with some Rhône varieties and — I couldn’t resist — some Sangiovese from Chianti Rufina as well.

Suggested donation is $45 (a great value for all the great food and wine) and the event should be a lot of fun. Click here to RSVP and to donate. Hope to see you there if not before!

Buon weekend ya’ll! (how’s that for fusion?)