MJ&M: 2018

Bill and I attended two benefit concerts as part of the sixth annual charity event called Mack, Jack & McConaughey. Mack Brown, the former UT football head coach, is now a sports commentator for ESPN. Jack Ingram is a singer/songwriter who just won a Country Music Award for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s hit, Tin Man. And actor Matthew McConaughey might be best-known around these parts for his naked bongo playing back in 1999. Daytime MJ&M events included a fashion show and a golf tournament, but we only attended the two evening concerts at the Austin City Limits / Moody Theater.

The Thursday evening concert was preceded by a high-priced sit-down dinner. From our balcony seats, we picked out local businesspeople, former UT athletes, and civic leaders seated around the tables. A professional auctioneer sold extravagant items such as VIP sports tickets, signed guitars, and vacation packages. These auctions are always fun to watch.

The auction was followed by a 90-minute concert by The Dixie Chicks. They played most of our favorite songs, including Landslide, Wide Open Spaces, Long Time Gone, and Not Ready to Make Nice. The Chicks haven’t toured for a few years, so we were glad to see them.

Towards the end of the concert, the Dixie Chicks were joined by a fully-clothed Matthew McConaughey playing the bongos.

Friday’s concert was a songwriters evening called Jack & Friends. It began with a short auction led by Mack, Jack, and McConaughey. The highlight was a bidding war for a private concert by Jack, Dierks Bentley, and Jon Randall, which finally sold for $81,000. Over $2.25 million was raised in those two days for the MJ&M beneficiaries: CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, just keep livin’ Foundation, and The Rise School of Austin.

Patty Griffin was the first performer on Friday. It’s a bit unusual for the headliner to play first, but perhaps she knew it was going be a long evening.

Bruce Robison expressed disappointment that The Dixie Chicks hadn’t played their hit Travelin’ Soldier during the Thursday concert since he had written that song. So, he played it during his set on Friday. 

The concert also featured sets by John Fullbright, Bobby Pinson, Jon Randall, Butch Walker, and Radney Foster. Some of these singer/songwriters had played at previous MJ&M concerts.

As we knew from previous years, Jack has a lot of friends. Sometime around 11:30 PM, Bill and I decided to head home since we had early morning commitments. The concert seemed to be winding down, but we don’t know for sure…

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