Ben Taylor and John Forte, with Carly Simon and friends, performed a benefit concert for the Rockhouse Foundation and the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard Friday evening, Aug. 26, at Nectar’s, a reprise of a similar show they put on in May.
The Rockhouse Foundation is based in Negril, Jamaica. The nonprofit works to renovate run-down but still operating schools in Jamaica. Visit rockhousefoundation.org for more information.
Ken Goldberg was the auctioneer for a live auction preceding the concert, and there was also a silent auction. Phil DaRosa opened the show with his well tuned signature brand of folk-rock. He then introduced and provided guitar backup for Holly Martin, a London-based singer with a wonderful, wide-ranging voice, who also provided back-up vocals for the acts that followed. Ben Taylor opened his set with a moving song about boyfriends. His mellifluous voice and steady guitar work were the tools of the consummate musician he is. He played a short solo set of folk-rock-hip-hop songs before introducing his good friend John Forte of The Fugees who with a powerful, resonate voice sang a few highly message-charged songs reminiscent of the late poet-musician Gil Scott-Heron.
Ben Taylor’s mother, Carly Simon, closed the show beginning with the Neil Young song “Ohio” and sang a couple of her well-known songs, getting the crowd involved in “You’re So Vain.”