Back in 2016, the Dallas music scene rallied around Kevin and Becki Howard. Becki had given birth to their son Felix 12 weeks before his expected due date. He ended up staying in the NICU for months before he got the clearance to go home. Trees hosted a benefit show for the Howards to help pay the bills they had accrued even with health insurance.
Now with only a few weeks left in 2018, another benefit for the Howards has been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 21, at Sons of Hermann Hall. This time, it’s to help pay down the debt from the treatment Becki had to have to beat breast cancer this year. The Rich Girls, [DARYL] and Go Imperial will play, and Sarah Jaffe will have a DJ set.
Becki wrapped up her last round of chemo in late October, and [DARYL] frontman Dylan Silvers had the Dec. 21 date on hold for a show at Sons, so he decided to make it a benefit show. Silvers and the Howards go far back: They have played on almost everything Silvers has done musically, including The Crash That Took Me, These Machines Are Winning, and The Sunshine Village Band.
“Becki and Kevin are dear friends of ours,” Silvers says. “Over the course of a decade, they have helped me immensely ... even when they had a lot of problems.”
The Howards are not the kind of people who ask for help. They’re actually the opposite. As giving, friendly and kind souls (Kevin remains the best hugger in town), a benefit show is the least the community can do for them. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for those who cannot come to the show and want to donate to the Howards.
“It’s hard to ask for help,” Kevin says. “But since Felix [was] born, it’s been one thing after another.”
Not only are funds going to the Howards, there will be a donation drive at the show for needy families in Dallas. Any kind of donations, from clothes to toys, are welcome.
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“I know we’re not the only couple in Dallas that has struggled,” Becki says. “It is the kindness of people wanting to do this — and be willing to do this again — is kind of overwhelming, in a wonderful way.”
For those involved with the show, volunteering their time and efforts is a no-brainer.
“This is a family that literally everyone loves and they didn’t ask for anything,” Beau Wagener says. “It’s just everyone going, ‘We love you. What can we do?’”
Wagener will do double-duty as a member of [DARYL] and Go Imperial. Justin Young will do the same as a member of the Rich Girls and Go Imperial. [DARYL] keyboardist Chad Ferman will come in from Asia to play at the show.
“[They’re] the best people I know,” Wagener says. “I don’t know that I’ve ever met two people who were more perfect together. They have better hearts and souls and it’s reflected in everything they do, from playing music together [in] all the different ventures. They’re kind of perfect in that way. And they’re the sweetest and kindest people. I’ve never heard an ill word about out anyone regarding them.”
As Felix is about to turn 3 in January and Becki has regular follow-ups with her doctor, they stress the importance of humor to temper the ugliness and cruelty of life. Neither Kevin or Becki play the pity party card on social media. They prefer to post pictures of their dogs and Felix playing around the house.
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“It’s been an important part of our relationship,” Becki says. “Kevin is one of the funniest people that I’ve ever met. But it definitely helped especially in a time like this.”
Humor intact, the Howards look forward to 2019 as a year of health. They plan to work on another Sunshine Village album, as well as an album of their own songs as a duo.
“At the end of the day, Felix is healthy and Becki is healthy,” Kevin says. “We’ve had some incredible scares, but we’re thankful.”
A Benefit Concert for Becki Howard is 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Sons of Hermann Hall. Tickets are $10.