Dave and Emmylou Harris


Groundwork was a week of music and events that raised awareness about solutions to world hunger and funds to help small farmers in developing countries in their struggle to overcome poverty. The Groundwork concerts took place in Seattle, WA, October 14-22, 2001. No doubt charity is its own reward. But the 3,000 folks who packed the Paramount Theatre Sunday night for the opening of Groundwork 2001, a week of fund-raising concerts for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, received an extraordinary perk in the bargain. The climax was a once-in-a-lifetime set by Dave Matthews, all by himself, sitting on a stool, just him and his big guitar.

Dark and poetic, obsessive and sincere, Matthews was somehow just right for this earnest event, though his set was punctuated by the shrill voices of teenage girls shouting such things as "We love you, Dave!" The cherub-faced singer humbly acknowledged he had never gone hungry himself, except, perhaps, when he'd "missed breakfast and lunch from drinking too much coffee."

The lyrics of his song, "The Space Between" - "the space between the bullets in the firefight, the space between the wicked lies, is where I'll be waiting for you" - nicely captured the moral delicacy of the moment, as the crowd contemplated aid for the world's hungry, even as America wages war.