Above: The Calling All Crows team presents a check on Saturday night, December 12, to Bob Ferguson of Oxfam America.

Dispatch members Chad Stokes and Pete Francis made a rare appearance together this past weekend. Though Dispatch has not performed since its 2007 reunion shows at Madison Square Garden, the two musicians played a few songs at Some Good Friends, Stokes’ two-night, second annual benefit for Calling All Crows. The shows took place at Somerville, MA’s The Armory, featuring individual performers by the two musicians, among others. According to Stokes’ band State Radio, “the events wove together ‘music with a message,’ celebrating the accomplishments of Calling All Crows first year in action, including 600 fans volunteering over 3,000 hours at local service projects across the country and a year long effort from State Radio and their fans to raise $100,000 for Oxfam Americas Darfur Stoves project.”

During Stokes’ set Friday, Francis emerged for the early Dispatch songs “Silent Steeples” and “Bang Bang.” The two musicians were then joined by RX Bandits’ Matt Embree for a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sweet Black Angel.” Mad Dog, a member of State Radio, joined in on a set-closing version of The Band’s “Ophelia.” In addition to material from his State Radio releases, Stokes performed Dispatch songs like “Flying Horses” and “The General” during his set Saturday night. Embree, Stephen Kellogg, Darren Buck and the members of The White Buffalo also sat in on a cover of The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.”

Saturday evening, Calling All Crows announced its plans for 2010, which includes “a goal of 10,000 service hours, pre-show service projects on State Radios European Tour in March, and a unique service trip for a select group of fans.” Calling All Crows inaugural Alternative Spring Break Tour will host 10 fans on a week-long bus tour through Texas and Louisiana with service projects during the day and shows every night. Next year’s humanitarian fundraising commitment will be announced when State Radio kicks off their Winter Tour in Tucson, AZ
on January 14