Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb's rendition of "O Holy Night," brought 700 people to their feet Tuesday night in the last of three holiday benefit concerts organized by Curtis Stigers at Boise's Egyptian Theater.
Buckner-Webb, who learned to sing in church, was one of 21 acts in a marvelous three-hour show. Stigers has been doing his Extreme Holiday Xtravaganza for seven years to benefit the Interfaith Sanctuary Homeless Shelter.
Stigers, an international star who still lives in his hometown, was a dynamo Tuesday, playing guitar, sax and drums, dancing and mugging in multiple plaids in shades of red. In the finale, Stigers brought his daughter on stage, who shyly joined in the “Take a Load off Santa,” chorus led by Stigers and Bill Coffey. The song was modeled on The Band's classic “Take a Load off Annie.”
Stigers has an eye for new artists and uses the benefit as a showcase.
Sarah Hart, who attends Borah High School, had me weeping with her solo piano and crystalline voice in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
Jeff Crosby, an Idahoan working in L.A., performed a song about taking a break from California couch-surfing to come home where Christmas includes snow.
Others on the bill included: Giant Leprechauns, the Frim Fram Four & Emily Braden, Chad and Vasti Summervill, John Laufenburger, Belinda Bowler, Alan Heathcock, Andrew Coba, Steve Fulton & Ophelia, In Joy Drum and Dance, Rebecca Scott, AKA Belle, Willison Roos and Dan Costello Truck Stop Trio.
Eilen Jewell, a nationally recognized country artist who recently returned home to Idaho, participated for the first time. Like Stigers, we’re lucky to have her back.
Thanks to Stigers for bringing good music, good cheer and a good cause to the spotlight.