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Budgetary Blues 

Keb' Mo' helps out Sisters schools By Ethan Maffey

Forget about passing a levy to overcome budget shortfalls. Sisters, Oregon, has a better-than-a-bake-sale approach to closing the education funding gap: live music.

Since 1997, the Sisters Starry Nights concert series has used donated performances by top-notch musicians like Lyle Lovett, Kenny Loggins and Vince Gill to raise money for the Sisters Schools Foundation. On May 18, Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist Keb' Mo' returns to Sisters for a concert commemorating the $1 million raised since inception of the events.

Though the money collected so far doesn't quite cover one year's worth of budget cuts, the foundation has been able to provide textbooks for students and supply the school district with enough funds to keep art and science programs functioning.

This particular Starry Night won't feature Keb' Mo's typically loud, full-blown Mississippi Delta blues band. Instead, the show—fittingly held at Sisters High School—will showcase a quieter version of the musician with an all-acoustic solo performance. The intimate format is perhaps the perfect vehicle for Mo' to share songs from his latest studio effort, 2011's The Reflection. That album is an emotional expository record, filled with ruminations on personal experiences, and songs are set to stronger R&B and jazz influences than any previous Mo' work. Mo' last performed a Sisters Starry Nights Concert in 2008.

Keb' Mo'

Sisters Starry Nights Benefit Concert

7 pm Saturday, May 18

Sisters High School

1700 W. McKinney Butte Rd.

Tickets $35-$75 at www.sisters.k12.or.us

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