Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell was taken to the emergency room on Saturday night after experiencing what has been described as "cardiac symptoms" prior to a performance. Crowell was sound-checking at the Jaeckle Centre, a family-owned equine facility in the tiny town of Thompson's Station, Tennessee, 25 miles south of Nashville, when he was struck ill. Ironically, Crowell was to play the third annual Celebrity Barn Dance benefit for Music Health Alliance, a non-profit organization that facilitates healthcare for those in the music industry.
Fortunately, Crowell turned out to be OK, and was later discharged from the hospital. In the meantime, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Ashley Monroe performed in honor of Crowell at the Barn Dance, helping raise more than $50,000 for Music Health Alliance.
The two-and-a-half-hour event – which also included a silent auction, with Gill the reluctant but entertaining auctioneer – was anchored by an all-star band, including Colin Linden, Paul Franklin and guest vocalist Wendy Moten, who appeared with Gill in August at his 25th anniversary Grand Ole Opry celebration. Monroe delivered a moving "Cryin' Time," with Gill singing harmony, and their duet "I Miss You," which the pair wrote and Gill recorded with the Time Jumpers in tribute to the group's late singer, Dawn Sears. Harris sang "Two More Bottles of Wine" and "Hickory Wind," and, in a poignant moment, Gill performed "'Til I Gain Control Again" for Crowell, who wrote the song, which has been covered by artists from Harris to Willie Nelson.
The night ended with Crowell making a surprise appearance onstage, looking no worse for wear and delighting the crowd with Waylon Jennings' "Waymore's Blues."
"Tonight was so poignant and represents exactly what Music Health Alliance is all about," said Music Health Alliance founder and Executive Director Tatum Hauck Allsep in a statement, in reference to Crowell's health crisis. "When one of our own falls we are there to help them get back up again."