The Mockingbird Foundation is thrilled to announce a very special event at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall on Thursday, July 12. Merl Saunders and Friends will headline a concert to celebrate the release of the Foundation’s Phish tribute album, Sharin’ in the Groove. The Bay Area improv-rock band Ten Ton Chicken will open.

Thanks to Merl Saunders, Ten Ton Chicken, and the Great American Music Hall, a significant part of the ticket price for this concert will benefit local music education for children charities: The Community Music Center and San Francisco Performances’ Arts Education Program.

Doors will open at 7:00pm, with showtime at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20 and will be on-sale starting Wednesday, May 30. Special guests are expected. Tickets are available through GDTSTOO, the Great American Music Hall box office,, and

The charity table at this event will have information about the various charities involved (the Foundation, Community Music Center and San Francisco Performances). And it will also have at least 130 tapes and CDR’s of free music that will be given away. Be sure to bring any Phish (or other band) tapes or discs that you want to give away (and/or trade with other fans).

The Mockingbird Foundation was incorporated by Phish fans in 1997 as an all-volunteer effort with no salaries, office, or paid staff. Its first project was a 928-page book, The Phish Companion, which has already generated thousands of dollars for charity. The first $10,500 was disbursed last month, and the next disbursements will be in July. All of the Foundation’s net royalties from both projects are donated to music education for children.

The Foundation’s latest project, a Phish tribute album entitled Sharin’ in the Groove, features an exciting and unusual group of musicians: Merl Saunders, The Wailers, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Ray and Cosmic Krewe, Little Feat, Arlo Guthrie and Xavier, Gordon Stone Trio, Amfibian (featuring Phish lyricist Tom Marshall), Son Seals and Rebecca’s Statue, Project Logic with John Scofield, The Tom Tom Club, Scott Kanberg (of Pavement), Lake Trout, FRED (the international champion barbershop quartet), the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Stanford Marching Band, Dave Hidalgo and Louie Perez (of Los Lobos), The Boredoms, Hot Tuna, and Dave Matthews.

The tribute album is expected to be released in June 2001.

Merl Saunders is legendary in the Bay Area for his funky, soulful rock and roll. A master showman and generous person, Merl’s brilliance on organ is outshined only by his huge heart. His tireless work for the rainforest and in the promotion of other charitable causes never ceases to amaze us.

Ten Ton Chicken has been jamming it up in the Bay Area for some time, and now has a new line-up with a new bass player and saxophonist. As described on their website, a TTC gig is very energetic with “frenetic peaks of improvisation, powerfully deep funk, writhing, sweating, dancing bodies, bhs everywhere, culminating in a musical stew that becomes absolutely unglued, swirling through the eddies and currents of a hundred musical tide pools. Or, something like that.”

We hope you are as excited as we are. Many people are coming to San Francisco from out of town (even from the east coast) for this special event, especially because Trey Anastasio’s solo tour hits the Greek Theater across the Bay in Berkeley the following two nights (July 13 and 14). We hope you can join us too, and help support music education for children.