Sound and the Fury



When Delphine Gunning, owner of the Red Room, had her car totaled by a hit-and-run driver, she found herself in a tough financial position. “The little cash I had saved for the Red Room went into the car,” she says.

One of Gunning’s many musician friends suggested she host a benefit for the venue, but she was initially skeptical about the idea. “I thought it was weird,” she says. “I thought of a benefit as something for people who are doing medical research, or something like that.”

Given Gunning’s idealistic commitment to nurturing a live-music community in San Antonio, however, a Red Room benefit is a rare example of a venue-benefit-for-itself that feels completely justified. In a show of appreciation that says a lot about Gunning’s support of singer-songwriters, 25 musicians have lent their talents to the event, including Red Room perennials such as Billy Harvey, Wendy Colonna, Marcus Rubio, Niki Duncan, and Los Mescaleros. One artist, Michael O’Neill, will even make a special trip from Seattle to participate in the benefit show.

Despite her recent bit of hard luck, Gunning continues to hatch intriguing new plans for the Red Room, including weekend “Red Room Presents” nights in Austin, an SA/SW festival on March 7 (the week before South by Southwest), and a singer-songwriter contest during the last week of Fiesta.

The Red Room fundraiser is scheduled for Sunday, November 19, beginning at 2 p.m., and will include a silent auction along with musical performances. Cover is $10. The Red Room is located at 1903 S. St. Mary’s. Call 218-3442 for more info.

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