Egan concerts celebrate life of gifted songwriter

by Walter Pierce

"Sing It: The David Egan Songbook" will be a mini tour in March featuring an all-star cast performing David Egan's spectacular songs — and raising money for his eponymous fund.

Illustration by Trent Oubre

It was about a year ago at this time that I had wound down a series of long interviews with David Egan at his home between Downtown and Four Corners. At that point Egan had all but conceded his roughly two-year battle with lung cancer and was receiving palliative care through Hospice of Acadiana. Those interviews — 45 minutes, an hour at a clip — would become the basis for The Independent's March 2016 cover story, "Great Clarity: Life, Death and David Egan." The subject of that story — a gifted, brilliant, kind, creative and courageous man — would be dead by March 18, while that cover story was still on racks across town. It was a huge loss for Lafayette, for our music family and for fans of great songwriting everywhere.

Photo by Robin May

Egan's death was an end, but it was also a beginning — for his widow, Rhonda, his son, Reuben, and a tribe of friends, collaborators and others. It's been a year of grieving, but also a year of healing and ensuring that David Egan is remembered not just by great songs but by good works. The David Egan Dreamer Fund, which helps local musicians and artists fund creative projects, was established at the Community Foundation of Acadiana. Coming in March: "Sing It: The David Egan Songbook," a series of concerts featuring an all-star cast of musicians who collaborated with Egan over the years.

"March will be the one year anniversary of losing David, and it is a great comfort to Reuben and I, and the rest of our family, to have these shows to look forward to," says Rhonda Ball Egan. "We cope with our grief by building his legacy and telling his story through his own words and music."

That storytelling will feature such artists as Marcia Ball, C.C. Adcock, Roddie Romero, David Torkanowsky, Kristin Diable, Buddy Flett, Kevin Gordon, Steve Riley and many others. The celebration begins on March 20, David Egan's birthday, which was proclaimed David Egan Day by the mayor. The day will include the formal rollout of the Dreamer Fund as well as the announcement of the fund's first grants.
The concerts begin Thursday, March 23 at the Vermilionville Performance Center in Lafayette, followed by a second Lafayette concert, same venue, on Friday, March 24. The tour then moves to Tipitina's in New Orleans on Saturday, March 25, and concludes in Egan's native North Louisiana at the Paradise Theater in Bossier City on Sunday, March 26. Proceeds from the concerts will help fund the David Egan Dreamer Fund.

"These nights will be full of friendship and stories and song, as well as an amazing roster of talented artists," says Rhonda Ball Egan. "In my opinion, I’d stack David’s songs and these musicians against any in the world. Reuben said 'regardless of honoring my dad, it will be just plain fun.' Fun works for me."

Works for us, too, Rhonda.

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased here.