Beto O’Rourke’s final Get Out the Vote concert before the midterm elections will have a distinctly country flavor, with a handful of renowned Texas singer-songwriters joining the El Paso congressman’s October 30th event in Irving, outside Dallas.
Among those performers are Ryan Bingham and Hayes Carll, both of whom are beloved in Americana circles. Houston native Carll has addressed politics in his music on occasion, imagining a hilarious, drunken Democrat-and-Republican hookup in “Another Like You” and spinning a wild tale about one soldier in “KMAG YOYO.” Crosby, Stills and Nash member Stephen Stills, a Dallas native, will also be on the bill, as will the West Texas country-rock band the Flatlanders, consisting of songwriters Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmy Dale Gilmore. Additionally, the band Cake, with a string of Nineties hits including “Sheep Go to Heaven” and “The Distance,” is slated to perform at the free-to-the-public event.
The rally follows O’Rourke’s recent Get Out the Vote concert in Austin featuring Willie Nelson, who made his feelings clear by concluding his set with a new song titled “Vote ‘Em Out.” Nelson took some heat from fans for his endorsement of O’Rourke, despite Nelson’s long record of supporting progressive causes and politicians, though he shrugged it off in typical Nelson fashion. “Everybody has an opinion,” he said during a visit on The View. “Everybody has a right to an opinion. I think I have one too.”
O’Rourke’s grassroots race against incumbent Republican Texas senator Ted Cruz has been the subject of national interest, as Democrats look to regain a majority in Congress with the midterm elections. With more than $38 million raised in the third quarter of 2018 from individual contributions, O’Rourke’s campaign recently broke a single-quarter fundraising record. Recent polls have him trailing Cruz by five points, with eight days to go before Election Day.