By now, most Texas Rangers fans know that if radio broadcaster Eric Nadel loves anything more than baseball, it’s music.
Last summer, Nadel was eating at Cafe Momentum — a nonprofit restaurant that employs disadvantaged youth — where he talked about music with Chad Houser, founder, CEO and chef of Cafe Momentum. The two quickly realized how much they both love music, and their conversation quickly led to creating Cafe Momentum’s Sunday Supper Concert Series.
The concert series will take place now through November. Each show features an acoustic set, a family-style dinner and complimentary drinks.
“I have always looked at Cafe Momentum as a gathering space that extends beyond just good food,” Houser says. “At Cafe Momentum, we always talk about building an ecosystem of support around the young men and women that we work with. This ecosystem addresses critical needs such as housing, healthcare, hunger and education. We also work to build out opportunities to expose the young men and women to new learning experiences, and the arts plays a major role in that."
House believes that having a monthly concert series creates an opportunity to expose the young men and women at Cafe Momentum to different artists and genres of music.
“[Houser] said he would like to have music be a part of the Cafe Momentum experience — both for the customers and for the kids who work there,” Nadel says. “He had this idea for the dinner concerts and asked if I would help him book and stage and promote them.”
“I tend to book artists who I know will get into the whole Cafe Momentum project, and I try to have different genres represented.”
Nadel, who had booked musicians at the now defunct Vagabond, admits he missed being able to book acts. “I love everything about Cafe M, so I was delighted to get on board,” Nadel says. “Turning people on to great food and music and an incredible cause is a special pleasure.”
While Houser focuses on the cafe, Nadel serves as the talent booker for the concert series with Houser’s approval.
“Basically, I book who I like, keeping in mind the vibe we are looking for in the intimate room,” Nadel says. “I tend to book artists who I know will get into the whole Cafe Momentum project, and I try to have different genres represented.”
To add to the uniqueness of the shows, the musicians for each performance are also involved in the selection and creation of the family-style dinner for each show. Houser contacts the artist for the upcoming shows and designs a menu based on the artist’s favorite foods.
“Our last show was all vegan because Emily Elbert is vegan,” Nadel says. “It may have been our best meal yet. Chad is a totally brilliant chef, and I've been blown away by all three dinners he has created for this series.”
Cafe Momentum’s Sunday Supper Concert Series will next feature Mia Borders and Dan Dyer on Sunday, March 25. Other upcoming shows include Charlie Mars, an SMU alumnus, local blues guitar legend Jim Suhler, Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, Chely Wright, Will Johnson, and Liz Longley.
Nadel, who is in Surprise, Arizona, for Rangers spring training, says that lately he’s been listening a lot to Daphne Willis’ new album Freaks Like Me as well as The War on Drugs, Jason Isbell, Real Estate, Margo Price, Seth Walker, and Colin Hay. All of which, Nadel says, he has seen live in the past few months.
As far as baseball goes, Nadel says he’s most looking forward to Big Sexy (Bartolo Colon) and The Freak (Tim Lincecum). “The two pitchers I most enjoy watching are now trying to win spots on the Rangers.” (Both did.)
For more information on Cafe Momentum’s Sunday Supper Concert Series, visit CafeMomentum.org.