Since Bill was busy with the Moontower Comedy Festival, I decided to attend Friday’s MJ&M Presents Jack & Friends at the ACL-Live Moody Theatre. MJ&M is short for Mack Brown (former UT football coach), Jack Ingram (singer/songwriter), and Matthew McConaughey (2014 Academy Award winner for Best Actor). These three have teamed up to host an annual set of fundraisers to benefit children’s charities. In addition to the Friday event, earlier in the week there was also a golf outing, a fashion show, and a concert featuring Sheryl Crow.
The evening started with a live auction of six longhorn replicas, similar to the GuitarTown and Cow Parade auctions in years past. These life-sized sculptures were decorated by local artists and had been displayed at various locations around town in the weeks preceding the auction. As an added bonus, each winner had their photograph taken with Mack, Jack, Matthew, and their newly-purchased longhorn.
The “Coach Mack Brown Legacy” longhorn was the first to be auctioned. The audience was thrilled when about a dozen former UT football players trooped up on stage, including Vince Young, Jordan Shipley, and Colt McCoy. (At this point, I sent a text to Bill, urging him to join me, but he was laughing his way through a comedy routine somewhere.) Some ex-players threw in fishing trips and Dallas Cowboy tickets as added incentives. The winning bid was $50,000. (Not to worry, Bill. Despite those enticing perks, I managed to avoid the temptation to jump into the bidding fray.)
Four other longhorns were then auctioned off: “1969 National Championship,” “Live Music Capital of the World,” “State of Texas” (covered in dimes), and “Austin Lights & Vibes” (pictured at the top of this entry). The winning bids ranged between $37,000 and $100,000.
The crowd was quite impressed when the sixth and final longhorn, “BCS Championship,” was rolled out on stage. He’s the blinding-white blob in my photo above, covered with mirrored tiles and holding a red rose in his mouth. The auctioneer urged the crowd to their feet during a very lively and exciting bidding session for this longhorn. The winning bid was a whopping $250,000, shattering the previous $150,000 record set at the 2011 Cow Parade auction.
And that was just the first half of the evening. The music part of the program didn’t get underway until almost 10 PM. Jack Ingram gathered together a talented line-up of musician friends who each performed one or two numbers. Lyle Lovett opened with a solo acoustic version of my favorite of his songs, If I Had a Boat. I also enjoyed the story/song formats from both Jack Ingram and Scott Miller (who is Matthew McConaughey’s neighbor in Malibu). I recognized some musicians from last year’s MJ&M concert, including Bruce Robison (above, right), Bobby Pinson, and Allen Shamblin. I had never heard Little Big Town before, but loved their tight harmonies.
The musicians were still going strong when I left around 12:30 AM, so I’m not sure what time the concert finally ended. Meanwhile, Bill had decided to see Marc Maron‘s midnight show at The Paramount. So it was an unusually late night for us, but we were both very happy with our choices!