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HAAM Benefit Day: Support Austin musicians at concerts throughout Central Texas

Peter Mongillo

HAAM Benefit Day is a celebration of Austin music, with musicians playing on every kind of imaginable stage from practically dawn to past 1 a.m. But Carolyn Schwarz, executive director of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, underscores the serious purpose behind this fundraiser, now in its sixth year: Enrollment in HAAM is at the highest level ever, with more musicians who had day jobs with health benefits losing those jobs as the economy continues to struggle.

"We're at over 1,500 enrolled currently," Schwarz says, "and we've helped nearly 2,700 in 6 1/2 years."

Benefit day is growing with the need.

"This is the biggest year yet, with 220 business and over 170 performances," Schwarz says of the fundraiser that brings in a majority of the year's funding for HAAM, which provides access to low-cost health care services for Austin-area musicians. "It's exciting to see the growth and the embrace from the community."

To qualify for services through HAAM, a client must be an uninsured, working musician and make less than around $27,000 (about 250 percent of the federal poverty line). For more information about qualifying, call 322-5177 or email jennstowe@healthallianceforaustinmusicians.org.

Last year's benefit day raised $195,000.

Here's how it works: Throughout Austin, beginning at 7 a.m. today, local musicians will perform at clubs and businesses, starting with presenting sponsor Whole Foods Market, that have pledged to donate 5 percent of the day's profits to HAAM.

HAAM already is getting a little extra help, with matching pledges — $10,000 from the Texas Heritage Songwriters and $20,000 from C3 Presents — that will go to HAAM if $30,000 is raised from community donations during the day.

You're unlikely to be far from a HAAM-related show today; venues are everywhere from north of Round Rock to Lake Travis and down to Bear Creek, with a concentration in the core of the city and including many clubs. Below are a few of the performances today. For a complete schedule of events, now in an easy-to-access mobile format as well, go to hbd.myhaam.org:

The day kicks off at the Whole Foods Cafe (525 N. Lamar Blvd.), with a 7 a.m. set by Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines. They will be followed by Austin soul singer/recent television hit Nakia and Quiet Company, whose new album, "We Are All Where We Belong," is out today.

Midday performances include singer-songwriter Dana Falconberry at noon at Oxford Commercial (200 W. Cesar Chavez St.) and Troy Campbell at Romeo's (1500 Barton Springs Road).

Malford Milligan plays at 1 p.m. at the Whole Foods Cafe (525 N. Lamar Blvd.). Ian McLagan performs at 4:30 p.m. at Lonestar BMW Triumph (10600 N. Lamar Blvd.). Gritty rock duo Not in the Face is on at 4:45 p.m. at Phil's Ice House (5620 Burnet Road). Miss Lavelle White plays at 5:30 p.m. at Jovita's (1619 S. First St.), the same time a DJ set by Second Line Social will spin at Birds Barbershop (1107 E. Sixth St.)

At 6 p.m., Graham Wilkinson performs at Whole Earth Provision Co. (4477 S. Lamar Blvd), the Texwardians featuring T. Tex Edwards are at Antone's Record Shop (2928 Guadalupe St.) and Will Sexton plays the Saxon Pub (1320 S. Lamar Blvd.).

Country acts Robert Ellis and Reckless Kelly will be at Waterloo Records (600 N. Lamar) at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and fiddle phenom Ruby Jane plays Little Woodrow's (520 W. Sixth St.) at 7 p.m. Dan Dyer is at Guero's Taco Bar (1412 S. Congress Ave.) at 7:30 p.m.

Vallejo and Friends take the stage at 9 p.m. at the One-2-One Bar (121 E. Fifth St.), and Ghosts along the Brazos are at Romeo's at 9:15 p.m. At 10 p.m., Beerland (711 Red River St.) has a set by Eric Static, and Warren Hood and the Goods are at the Continental Club (1315 S. Congress Ave.).

Late-night sets include Nano Whitman at 11 p.m. at the Saxon Pub and the Coveters at 11:59 p.m. at the Continental Club. Crisis Hotlines and Simple Circuit close out HAAM Benefit Day at 12:15 a.m. and 1 a.m. at Beerland.

pmongillo@statesman.com