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Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Nas and Phil Vassar to Play Free Virginia Tech Concert

August 2, 2007 9:35 AM ET

John Mayer, the Dave Matthews Band, and Virginia-born country star Phil Vassar will perform at Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus on September 6 at A Concert for Virginia Tech, a demonstration of solidarity with the school as it begins a new academic year and tries to move past last April's horrific shootings. "We have a profound respect for the incredible resolve and unwavering sense of hope the university community has shown, and are honored to have the opportunity to share this evening with Virginia Tech," said DMB drummer Carter Beauford.

One free ticket will be available to current students, faculty and staff, as well as spring and summer 2007 graduates, with corporate sponsorships, the sale of commemorative items and the possible sale of an additional ticket to each buyer helping to cover the cost of the event (the artists won't be collecting any fees for their performances). No tickets are available to the public at this time.

"We're extremely grateful for the compassion and generosity of these artists who wished to create a very special event where our students, faculty and staff can come together to celebrate the spirit and resiliency of our university community as we begin a new academic year," said Virginia Tech president Charles Steger in a statement. Last spring, many members of the music community were quick to react to the tragedy via song. Jin's "Rain Rain Go Away" went up on the Web almost immediately, R. Kelly wrote tribute ballad "Rise Up" and Lil Flip, whose MySpace includes a video for his Virginia Tech track, sampled Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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