Sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask for a little help. That's what David Card, owner of Dallas' 40-year-old listening room Poor David's Pub, did on Sunday evening around 8 p.m.
He'd been following coverage of Hurricane Harvey, the devastating Category 4 storm that ravaged the Texas coast over the weekend. And, he'd seen that the annual Kerrville Fall Festival -- an offshoot of the famous springtime folk festival -- had been canceled as a result. Folk music, now that was in his wheelhouse. That was how he could help.
As a venue owner and live music lover, Card finds himself regularly surrounded by talented songwriters and performers; it's just a perk of the job. It just so happens that he also had an open date on the Poor David's schedule, Sept. 2.
Though it would be quickly thrown together, a benefit concert could be a good way to pool funds for Harvey relief efforts, he thought.
So, he put out a social media Bat Signal.
"Time is of the essence ... please respond quickly so we can put it in motion," he wrote on his Facebook pages. The response was swift.
Within minutes, local musicians were volunteering their time and music lovers were clearing their schedules for Saturday. The network began humming and word was spreading.
One helper posted that he'd reached out to artists on the canceled Kerrville line-up who had suddenly found themselves looking for a gig. Others offered suggestions about where Kerrverts -- that's a term of endearment -- might be able to camp out in D-FW with other long-time Kerrville Folk Festival fans.
In a matter of hours, the concert line-up had fleshed out to include more than 20 local and regional musicians.
Then, a group Card calls "Friends of Poor David's Pub" -- namely, his wife Clare and regular customer Annie Hawthorne -- offered to feed everybody for free.
They're planning pulled pork sandwiches and a TBD side, though the specifics are subject to change due to the event's quick planning. Nearby Opening Bell has also volunteered free coffee for the duration of the event, and next door neighbor Full Circle Tavern agreed to pitch in where they could as well.
Card plans to run the event from noon until midnight, but he says "we will not shut down until everyone who wants to play gets a chance."
As for admission, the event is fully donation based, with 100 percent of proceeds going to disaster relief; customers will be able to choose at the door between putting their money toward the Red Cross or The Salvation Army.
Card jokes that no one will be able to leave the premises without going through a "money scanner," and if patrons have more than taxi fare on them they'll have to surrender it. One thing he's not joking about: The seriousness of the effort needed from Texans who still have their homes and belongings.
His suggested donation: "Whatever makes you wince."
They're joined by Grace Pettis, who followed her dad Pierce Pettis' footsteps when she won the Kerrville New Folk Competition award in 2011, and Elizabeth Wills, a mainstay of the Austin music circuit with songwriting accolades of her own, among them 1996 winner of Poor David's Pub's annual B.W. Stevenson Memorial Singer-Songwriter Competition.
In total, at least six of that competition's former winners/finalists -- including reigning champion Annie Benjamin -- will appear on the bill, flanked by a growing list of local and regional troubadours.
Card continues to update the schedule as it evolves on his social media pages, but notes that all listed showtimes are an estimate. Slots after 9:30 p.m. are still open for additional acts who want to join or in the event of overruns, and organizers are on the lookout for a versatile lead guitarist who could lend support to a few acts.
"Many beans make a hill," Card says.
He's hopeful a "hill of beans" will turn into a mountain of dollar bills for those rebuilding in Harvey's wake.
Looking for more ways to get involved?
Correction: This story originally included in the Harvey relief concert lineup "Liz Rose, a Dallas-raised songwriter with a number of smash hits to her name, many co-written with superstar Taylor Swift;" Rose will appear at Poor David's Pub instead on Dec. 8 with co-headliner Walt Wilkins. We regret the error.