HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, Brandi Carlile rock the vote for GALvanize, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

Mike McCready is no stranger to doing good things with a guitar in his hands -- in bands, primarily Pearl Jam, or a guest player for other artists.

McCready's latest good deed, however, is for women and the right to vote. He's teaming with good friend and fellow Seattle musician Brandi Carlile on Friday, Oct. 9, for Vote Your Values, a concert to benefit GALvanize USA, an organization whose mission is to empower women in the Midwest. McCready, 54, says they'll primarily be playing Carlile's songs, "just a little different take on them," and, of course, encourage those in the audience to vote in this year's presidential election.

For McCready it's also a nice break from the pandemic quarantine, which sidelined Pearl Jam from touring to support its new album, "Gigaton," that came out during late March (it's now slated to start during June of 2021 in Europe). Meanwhile, Pearl Jam -- which has also been operating a PJ Votes 2020 mail voting initiative -- will also be releasing "MTV Unplugged," from its 1992 appearance on the program, for this year's third record store day on Oct. 23...

McCready says by home that he became aware of GALvanize after meeting its founder, Jackie Payne, and her husband five years ago at a Pearl Jam benefit concert. "I just was inspired by her passion and the work she does in terms of sharing information about how women vote and why they vote and wanting everyone in America to be able to vote. She studies a lot of this stuff and works really hard for awareness and equality. I have a daughter, so I want to be a) a good human being and b) a good parent and a voter in the United States. I wanted to bring some music to this and I wanted to learn and I want to promote GALvanize, because I believe in what they do."

The opportunity to work again with Carlile, a good friend, also made playing at the event a no-brainer. "I love playing with Brandi," McCready says. "She's an amazing singer-songwriter and a dear friend of mine. I always feel like I'm learning something when I'm playing with her. Her songs bring me to tears, which doesn't happen very often. So whenever I get a chance to play with her, I take it."

McCready and the rest of Pearl Jam have gotten together primarily via Zoom during the pandemic, and the guitarist is disappointed that the "Gigaton" tour had to be postponed. "I'm very proud of that record. Not being able to play it live or work on those songs in a live setting really made me sad -- safety is number one, of course, but playing live lets us grow and expand the songs, and we haven't had a chance to do that yet. Hopefully we'll get to do that at some point, but nobody can say when yet."

As for "MTV Unplugged," McCready recalls it as an ambivalent experience. "I didn't really want to do it. We were just beginning, really, and I felt we were a better electric band than acoustic. But we rose to the challenge and everybody else I talk to seems to like it a lot, so I guess I was wrong. (laughs) It'll be interesting to hear it again, because I haven't listened to it in a long time."

McCready has been "as careful as possible" during the pandemic and is using his time to educate himself on recording technologies in his home studio, as well as write new material. "It's given me an opportunity to learn some stuff, which is always good. I'm working on my own thing right now; I'm not sure what it is, but I have a bunch of ideas and I have the time to do it, and we'll see what comes of it. I hope something does. I really haven't done anything like this before."

Brandi Carlile and Mike McCready play a Vote Your Values benefiting GALvanize USA, an organization that empowers women in the Midwest, at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. Free tickets available via galvanizeusa.org.

Web Site: www.galvanizeusa.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration