By Bella Butler EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
BOZEMAN — Bozeman-based event producer Tom Garnsey has always said he’s not in the music industry, he’s in the mental health industry. While producing some of the region’s best-known shows since the ’90s, he’s seen hundreds leave the best venues in southwestern Montana, their faces changing. It’s an experience he hopes the upcoming Tedeschi Trucks Band show on August 2 will emulate: an experience of connection to music, community and a crucial cause.
The Grammy Award-winning band will take the stage at Armory Music Hall as part of their intimate Fireside Live tour. The concert will benefit Haven, a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization that provides support, legal services, counseling and shelter to those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking and harassment.
Tedeschi Trucks Band is a blues and rock band led by husband and wife duo Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks. Garnsey, co-founder of Vooti Productions, said the band “musically floored him” every time he saw them play.
“Derek and Susan are both powerhouses,” he said. “I mean, he’s the epitome of slide guitar and she’s a force of nature, both on guitar and on vocals.” As part of their Fireside Live format, the 12-member band will play each show on the tour with just four to eight band members in front of capacity-limited crowds.
Besides the artists themselves, venues play a key role in the live music experience, and Garnsey thinks Armory Music Hall will punctuate the evening. The Armory building was designed by renowned Bozeman architect Fred Willson and built in 1941 to house Bozeman National Guard units of the 163rd Montana Infantry. Since the renovation of the building in 2019, the music hall is now an elegant ballroom with historical accents.
“It’s a great place to catch a community show,” Garnsey said.
The community is a big part of this particular leg of the band’s tour. According to Haven executive director Erica Coyle, the Aug. 2 event is the product of local partners who came together to put on a high-profile benefit show, from location to production and everything in between.
It’s also an opportunity for the community to engage with the nonprofit, Coyle said, and help end the stigma around domestic violence in and around Gallatin County, where Haven serves.
“Having a group at the level of Tedeschi Trucks is pretty amazing for any organization,” Coyle said. “I know at Haven we think it just shows survivors that there are some really amazing people out there who are very well known, very talented, and they’re also supportive of survivors.”
Proceeds from the show will benefit Haven’s services, Coyle said, including survivor advocacy, a 24/7 helpline and counseling, among other supports. She added that another way this show will benefit Haven, both through funds and attention, is through community education and awareness.
“We know that domestic violence thrives on silence, and by bringing attention to this issue, we hope we can start great community conversations about it,” she said.
The purpose of this event, from Coyle’s perspective, is to bring the community together.
“Sometimes it can be difficult for people to engage with Haven because it seems like a really scary issue,” she said. “So it’s a great entry point for people so they can see that while yes, domestic violence is incredibly serious, as an organization we’re really working to engage our community to end the problem. so that the violence does not continue.”
Visit https://www.armorymusichall.com/events/tedeschi-trucks-fireside to learn more about the benefit show.
To reach Haven’s 24/7 helpline, call (406)-586-4111.