HENDERSON, N.C.—An award-winning eight-piece band that helped redefine the sound of “Gulf Coast Soul” opens the 2017-2018 season for the McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center in Henderson, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 21, and half of the ticket sales to the show will be donated to help the victims of this summer’s hurricanes.
The Suffers hail from Houston, Texas, the site of catastrophic flooding near the end of August as Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane to strike the United States in more than a decade, bringing rainfall amounts of 40 inches and more to the region. The band still makes its home in Houston and its members and their families were impacted by the storm.
Seats for the 8 p.m. show will be $25 and $22, and McGregor Hall will give 50 percent of each ticket sold to the American Red Cross to help the victims of the recent storms.
“This simply felt like the right thing to do since we have such a popular band from the very center of the hurricane flooding coming to entertain us here in Henderson,” said Mark Hopper, vice president of the McGregor Hall board of directors. “Not only can we help the victims of the storm with our financial contributions, we have an opportunity to connect personally with victims of the Houston crisis in a unique way and show our concern.”
The Suffers are coming to Henderson on the heels of a Sept. 16 scheduled performance at the renown Monterey Jazz Festival in California, followed by a show at the Whale Rock Music Festival in Templeton, Calif.
Established in 2011, The Suffers soul band was organized by bassist Adam Castaneda and vocalist/keyboardist Pat Kelly, who brought on trumpet player Jon Durbin, trombonist Michael Razo, guitarist Kevin Bernier, percussionist Jose “Chapy” Luna, and drummer/vocalist Nick Zamora. Frontwoman Kam Franklin tops off the group with soaring vocals.
The group describes their music as a mix of musical styles and cultures found in Houston and around the Gulf Coast area — blues, soul, country, Cajun, hip hop, and Caribbean, according to a 2015 radio interview.
Brennan Carley of Spin Magazine said in a 2015 review: “The Suffers are a ten-piece soul collective that steeps their tracks in jazzy history with a modern twist. They’re the sort of neo-retro group you never knew music was so badly missing.”
The last three years have taken the band to new heights as they have played in more than 300 shows across North America. They have also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah, and National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk Concert” for Bob Boilen.
Their debut album, “The Suffers,” was selected by Billboard magazine as one of the “Top 10 Anticipated Rock & Alternative Albums” and Buzzfeed included the Suffers as one of the “25 New Artists You Need in Your Life in 2015.”
They recently finished their first international tour, spreading Gulf Coast Soul across the Caribbean, Western Europe and Australia.
While they have accepted invitations nationally for featured performances at festivals and events, the band has remained a local Houston favorite, accepting 23 Houston Press Music Awards over the past four years.
The show at McGregor is one of five shows scheduled for North Carolina venues in September.
The Suffers are the opening act of the McGregor Hall Heritage! series for 2017-2018. While individual tickets to the show are available, patrons still have an opportunity to buy a package of five shows for $100, representing $25 off regular ticket prices.
In addition to The Suffers, the Heritage! package will offer “Hairspray,” Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 3-5; a new stage play, “Daddy’s Boys,” by North Carolina African-American playwright Garrett Davis, Jan. 13; the Masters of Soul Motown Revue, March 3; and Rod of God with comedian Roderick Allison, April 14.
McGregor Hall is also selling season tickets to two other series, McGregor Live! and Joy!
McGregor Live! will feature six shows: Lorrie Morgan, with 14 Top 10 Country music hits, on Oct. 8; “Hairspray,” performed and produced with local talent, on Oct. 27-29 and Nov. 3-5; the Christmas Wonderland holiday spectacular, Dec. 5; world-renowned magician and mentalist Joshua Lozoff, Jan. 6; Al Stewart, known for the Top 10 hits “Year of the Cat” and “Time Passages,” and his band, the Empty Pockets, Feb. 17; and the original Eagles tribute band, Hotel California, March 16. The six-show package, with a regular price of $160 if purchased individually, is priced at $125.
Joy! will feature three shows featuring five well-known Christian artists and groups: Dove- and Grammy-award winning Jason Crabb, Nov. 12; Karen Peck with New River, Feb. 23; and the Talleys with Tribute, April 7. With a regular ticket price of $75, the three-show package will be reduced to $50. Those purchasing the Joy! series can also add on the Christmas Wonderland show for a reduced price of $20.
All three series will have the option for spreading payments over four quarterly installments.
Tickets to The Suffers show and the series packages can be purchased online at any time at www.McGregorHall.org, by calling the Box Office at (252) 598-0662, or by visiting the Box Office at 201 Breckenridge Street in Henderson. When purchasing tickets online, patrons should make sure they are purchasing tickets through McGregor’s secure and trusted purchasing platform, eTix. The Box Office is open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m., and, starting Monday, Sept. 18, Box Office hours will expand to Mondays through Fridays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Patrons can save online fees when ordering directly with the Box Office staff.