Jim Messina played a special benefit concert on Saturday to raise money for the William Sansum Diabetes Center of Santa Barbara.
The show was held at the historic Lobero Theatre, which recently celebrated its 144th birthday.
Messina took the supporters on an adventurous journey through his illustrious career. He is known as a true pioneer in music — writing, producing, engineering and playing multiple instruments over a 50-year career. He has been part of selling more than 20 million records with iconic rock groups Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins & Messina.
The Santa Ynez resident was joined by his friend and neighbor John McFee of The Doobie Brothers and Southern Pacific.
Messina sat in and sang a few country-style tunes he wrote from his days with the band Southern Pacific. He also played pedal steel and guitar on various tunes throughout the evening.
Opening the show was Jackson Gillies. He won the 2016 Santa Barbara Teen Star USA Award and has been garnering a lot of positive attention for his outgoing musical abilities.
Gillies, diagnosed with Type I diabetes at an early age, spoke with clarity and thought-provoking insight about the importance of raising money to help fight and find solutions to cope with diabetes. He sang with passion and was well received by the early-arriving audience. He made for the perfect complement to kick off an evening of awareness, education and fundraising.
The event was held to raise money for the William Sansum Diabetes Center of Santa Barbara. Dr. William Sansum was the first doctor to produce and prescribe insulin with patients diagnosed with the disease. The center was formed in 1944 as a nonprofit and is a national leader in the work to develop treatments such as insulin-monitoring pumps and, hopefully someday, the artificial pancreas.
Messina proved why he has been such an influential musician for so long. His set ranged from soft, acoustic ballads to fun, foot-stomping country tunes. He played a wide array of guitars, from several acoustics to electric fenders. He also used the mandolin during one of the highlights of the night — “Be Free.”
“Angry Eyes” proved the timelessness of Messina’s music, featuring strong instrumentals from every player of his very talented band.
They finished the night with crowd favorite “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” for which he was joined on stage by Gillies and McFee.
— Steve Kennedy is a Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.