April 10, 1998
"Stormy Weather features Sandra Bernhard, Paula Cole, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl
Crow, Stevie Nicks, Gwen Stefani, Trisha Yearwood, with the El Nino orchestra.
The hook here is that each performer's doing standards with the El Nino
orchestra, it could in therory, possibly be something extremely special. Benefit
for the Walden Woods project and the Thoreau Institue at Walden Pond."
March 12, 1998
Edited by Julie Taraska
Stevie, Shawn Join Walden Woods Benefit
Stevie Nicks, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Cole,
Sheryl Crow, Paula Cole, Gwen Stefani, Toni
Braxton, and Trisha Yearwood are among the
artists confirmed for a Walden Woods
Project benefit to be held April 16 at Los
Angeles' Wiltern Theater. The event, named
Stormy Weather '98, will feature a 66-piece
symphony, named, fittingly enough, the El
March 11, 1998
More sign on for all-female benefit
Natalie Cole, Shawn Colvin and Toni Braxton are the latest to sign on
for an all-female benefit for the Walden Woods Project and its new
Thoreau Institute at Walden Pond in Massachusetts. The project,
founded by singer Don Henley, works on environmental protection
efforts. Also on the bill for the April 16 show at L.A.'s Wiltern
Theater: Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Paula Cole, Trisha
Yearwood, Gwen Stefani and Sandra Bernhard.
March 6, 1998
Stefani, Crow, Cole, Nicks To Come Out For Walden Woods
Tickets go on sale this Sunday in Los Angeles for an
April benefit featuring Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow, No
Doubt's Gwen Stefani, Stevie Nicks and country singer
The event, billed as Stormy Weather '98, is slated for
April 16 at L.A.'s Willtern Theater and is being staged
as a benefit for Don Henley's Walden Woods
Foundation. The organization has been working since
1990 to preserve the land around Walden Pond in
Concord, Massachusetts where Henry David Thoreau
lived and wrote.
March 4, 1998
Singing for Walden Woods: Singers Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow,
Paula Cole, Trisha Yearwood and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt are
among those set for "Stormy Weather '98," an April 16 concert at
the Wiltern Theatre to benefit the Walden Woods Project and the
new Thoreau Institute at Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Don
Henley of the Eagles, who put together a pair of 1992 benefits at
Universal Amphitheatre that raised about $400,000 for a campaign
to preserve the historic area, is also behind the Wiltern show but is
not scheduled to perform. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 10 a.m.
March 4, 1998
A concert for the Walden Woods Project blends today's pop divas with yesterday's pop standards.
By MARC WEINGARTEN, Times Staff Writer
More often than not, benefit concerts are hastily thrown-together
affairs that lack cohesion or a consistent musical through-line.
That won't be the case at tonight's Stormy Weather '98, a benefit
concert for Don Henley's Walden Woods Project at the Wiltern Theatre--at
least if musical director Larry Klein has his way.
He and Henley have amassed an A-list lineup of female pop artists that
includes Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Bjork, Shawn Colvin and Paula Cole
to perform jazz and pop standards of the '30s, '40s and '50s, backed by a
"I do Sting's rain forest benefit every year in New York, and those
are always very elegant affairs," says Henley. "People always think of
that as a New York type of thing, so I thought, 'Why can't we do
something classy like that in L.A. as well?' "
It's an ambitious notion, to be sure, but from the moment Henley ran
the idea past Klein two months ago, the L.A-based producer and
bassist--who's worked on albums by his ex-wife Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt,
Holly Cole, Carmen McCrae and Peter Gabriel among many others--knew it
would be something memorable.
"I got really excited about it, particularly once we started creating
a list of artists, and virtually everybody on our wish list agreed to
perform," says Klein. "Which is nothing short of miraculous, given
everyone's complicated schedules."
From the outset, Klein was prepared for the logistical snags he would
encounter as the show date approached. For starters, most of the artists
will be performing these songs in public for the first time, without the
benefit of extensive rehearsals. That meant virtually all the
pre-production work--choosing material, finding appropriate keys,
structuring the arrangements--had to be handled via telephone.
Song selection was arrived at by mutual consensus. In some cases, the
artists had very specific ideas about what they wanted to perform, while
in others Klein and Henley played musical matchmakers.
"Don and I sat down with a bunch of old records and came up with a
stockpile of songs," says Klein. "It eventually ended up being a 50-50
split between stuff we picked and songs the artist chose."
As for what songs made the final cut, tonight's audience should expect
"Bjork's choice of songs was brilliant," says Klein, citing one
example. "I don't want to give both of them away, but she picked this
obscure Billie Holiday song called 'Gloomy Monday' for one of her
numbers, which is this really dark, beautifully crafted song. It just
isn't something I would've picked her doing in a million years."
Gwen Stefani, the lead singer for multi-platinum rock-ska band No
Doubt, also threw Klein for a bit of a loop. Not only did she choose the
Andrews Sisters' "I Can Dream, Can't I?" as one of her two allotted
songs, but Klein also discovered she had the chops to do the technically
tricky song justice.
"She's got an incredible ear," says Klein. "When we were trying to
determine a key for the song, Gwen started singing, and it was exactly
the same key as the Andrews Sisters' version. I was really impressed with
her, and I think people will be surprised by her performance."
For artists like Bjork, Stefani and Crow, tonight's benefit--whose
proceeds will go to the recently completed Thoreau Institute, which
contains the world's largest archive devoted to the work of author Henry
David Thoreau and is located at Walden Woods in Lincoln, Mass.--provides
an ideal opportunity to pay homage to songs with which they have an
"I cut my musical teeth listening and singing old standards, but I've
never sung these songs in concert before," says Crow. "I really believe
in the cause, but I also wanted to pay tribute to what I think is a dying
genre. It's gonna be a lot of fun doing it."
Stormy Weather '98 with Sandra Bernhard, Bjork, Toni Braxton, Natalie
Cole, Paula Cole, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks,
Gwen Stefani and Trisha Yearwood, tonight at the Wiltern Theatre, 3790
Wilshire Blvd., 7 p.m. $75 and $152.50. (213) 380-5005.