It was a really shitty reason to throw a party…
But it was a really great party, nonetheless.
With the windows boarded up, the doors padlocked and the burn marks still visible on Tess’ Lark Tavern just a few hundred yards away, friends gathered at the Washington Park Lakehouse on Saturday in support of Tess Collins and her staff who found themselves out of work after an early morning fire destroyed the beloved community tavern on Thursday, May 6.
There were food vendors, a silent auction of goods and services and plenty of beer and wine – all of it donated.
And, of course there was plenty of music, too. MotherJudge & Friends – including John Brodeur, Albie, Bob Buckley, Tom McWatters, Mitch Elrod – kicked off the festivities at 3pm, and the music continued pretty much non-stop the rest of the day.
Rockabilly favorites Rocky Velvet reunited. Fresh from their runner-up finish at the SPAC Battle of the Bands just the night before, Mirk & the New Familiars kept things hopping, and the Charmed and Dangerous burlesque crew added the appropriate pinch of naughty to the procedings.
The real stars of the show, however, were Collins and her girls, who worked all day long at the beer truck and wine tent, serving up drinks along with hugs and kisses to the hundreds of folks who came out to lift their spirits and lend their support.
Collins seemed more than a bit uncomfortable with all of the attention that was being showered on her, but she still looked lovely – and just as determined as ever.
There are many more benefits for Collins and her staff coming up, including “Laughs for the Lark” (a comedy show at The Linda in Albany on Wednesday, June 2, featuring Greg Aidala, Bernadette Pauley, the Knuckleheads and Dave Cox) and “A Night at Tess’ Lark Tavern” at The Linda on Thursday, June 10, featuring all of the regular Tess’ performers – MotherJudge & Friends, Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble, Albany Poets’ Poets Speak Loud, Bryan Thomas and Ramblin Jug Stompers.