By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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The concert is an unusual one: Just 40 tickets at $40 each have been made available, and O'Keefe, writer of hit songs for artists as varied as Willie Nelson, Ben Harper and Bonnie Raitt, ordinarily plays in rooms larger than Wine on the Waterfront's.
But WoW is the place, inside The Landing mall at Lincoln Street and Railroad Avenue, for the gig at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Ticket information is at 360-565-8466 and www.BrownPaperTickets.com, though seats were selling fast Thursday.
O'Keefe, whose songs include the Billboard Top Ten hit “Good-Time Charlie's Got the Blues” and “Well, Well, Well,” a collaboration with Bob Dylan, has lived on Vashon Island for some 30 years.
He heard about Port Angeles' Feiro center from Phil Lusk, a board member with the Guacamole Fund (www.guacfund.org), a California-based nonprofit that organizes benefit concerts for environmental and social causes.
Lusk also is the power resources manager for the city of Port Angeles and an organizer of this weekend's Klallam Earth Day activities at and around The Landing mall.
O'Keefe accepted Lusk's invitation to the Olympic Peninsula and then invited along his friend Tepp, a clarinetist, slide guitarist and harmonica player.
Ode to water
“Well, Well, Well,” O'Keefe's ode to water — and the need to care for its sources — will be part of Saturday's set, along with “a good, strong list of songs,” the singer said in a telephone interview earlier this week.
O'Keefe's body of work, besides his latest album “In Time,” includes “Anywhere on Earth You Are,” recorded by Alan Jackson; “Next to You,” sung by Sheena Easton; “Souvenirs,” recorded by Jimmy Buffett; and Jackson Browne's “The Road.”
Like O'Keefe, Tepp is looking forward to spending his Earth Day weekend out here.
“I have played at the Juan de Fuca Festival [in Port Angeles each Memorial Day weekend] a couple of times with various artists and was very warmly received,” he said.
“Weather permitting, I'll be out at Salt Creek and Crescent Bay the morning after the show.”
Both men also share a desire to link their talents to a larger effort.
“Using music as an entry point to social change has been a part of my attraction to the art from my early teens,” Tepp said.
O'Keefe, appropriately, is the man behind the Songbird Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness of how coffee farming affects songbird habitat.
The organization, with others like it, helped coffee drinkers see how a willingness to pay a few cents more per cup helps farmers care for the ecosystem surrounding them.
“If you want to create a fundamental change, you've got to change it from the consumer level,” O'Keefe said.
Proceeds from Saturday's concert will go to a similar organization, one that seeks to awaken people to the ocean ecosystem. The Feiro Marine Life Center will use the funds raised for its youth programs based at the center on City Pier.
To learn more, phone the Feiro at 360-417-6254 or visit www.FeiroMarineLifeCenter.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.