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Wild Mare Restaurant concert to benefit Bitterroot Valley food banks

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Pam Kaye, owner of the Wild Mare Restaurant in Corvallis, says “I’ve been hungry before, and it’s not fun.”

So when an opportunity arose to host a concert, featuring two internationally-recognized guitarists, she decided to turn it into a week-long benefit for the Bitterroot valley’s food banks.

Jerry Donahue is a U.S.-born guitarist who is widely known for his participation in the British folk rock scene, with influences ranging from Celtic, to bluegrass, to blues. His résumé includes work with the band “Fairport Convention,” and his own trio, “The Hellecasters,” but he’s also played with Bonnie Raitt, George Harrison, Warren Zevon, and many others. He’s known as “the string-bending king of the planet.”

Freebo is a noted bassist, best-known for his work with Bonnie Raitt, but also a session musician who has played with John Mayall, Ringo Starr, and others. He is also a respectable tuba player, though it’s unlikely he’ll unpack the brass in Corvallis.

The two are in Montana for a reunion in the Flathead, and Kaye, through a string of connections, ended up with the duo in Corvallis for an evening.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sep. 27, at the Wild Mare Restaurant in Corvallis, at the corner of Second and Market streets.

Admission will be $8 with the drop-off of a non-perishable food item, or $10 without. The Bitterroot Brewery will be serving beer specials for $2 a pint, $1 of which will be shared by local food banks.

Kaye can accommodate about 100 people, although for some it will be standing room only. She’s not accepting reservations or selling tickets in advance, so tables at the restaurant and seating for the concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Restaurant hours are 5-9 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

She has permission to close the street for the concert, but is unsure that the weather and smoky atmosphere will lend itself to an outdoor venue.

For the remainder of the week, Kaye has announced other promotions to benefit the food banks. On Wednesday, Sep. 26, they’ll donate 10% of all dinner proceeds; on Friday, Sep. 28, all proceeds from beer sales will be donated; and on Saturday, Sep. 29, all of their homemade dessert sales will be divided among the food banks from Darby to Stevensville.

Kaye calls it “Montana helping Montana,” noting that “I’ve always liked doing the community give-back thing.”

For those who can’t participate in the restaurant fundraisers, she’ll have a drop-off box out all week for donations.

“With winter coming, let’s do all we can,” Kaye encourages.

The Wild Mare can be reached at 961-8938, with event and other information on their website at, or on Facebook.

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