Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

Rockin’ in the USA

Rockin’ in the USA

A chorus of lawmakers and musicians sings "Friends in Low Places" at 2010's GRAMMYs on the Hill event. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Recording Academy will again clutch personal heroes to its bosom next week, feting Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) alongside award-winning artist John Mayer as part of the annual GRAMMYs on the Hill shindig taking over the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) on Wednesday.

The music-themed, invite-only gala has over the years yielded a number of memorable performances by Members of Congress. Daryl Friedman, RA’s chief advocacy and industry relations officer, told HOH that he’ll never forget the night the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) joined mega-producer Quincy Jones on stage for a rousing rendition of “We Are the World,” or the time a chorus of lawmakers serenaded singer Garth Brooks with a rollicking version of “Friends in Low Places.”

We were most impressed by the expertly produced cover of Radney Foster’s “A Little Revival” that SiriusXM personnel last year pieced together from recording sessions with a randomly assembled Congressional “band:”

The toe-tapping tune got the tribute treatment via contributions from Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). And the finely tuned, professionally remixed end product officially debuted at last year’s ceremony:

To wit, Tamara Saviano, Foster’s general manager, told HOH that Foster huddled with a Democratic Party voter and Republican Party voter while writing the song:

“This was a big deal that they could be in the same room and write a song together without it devolving into a discussion that no one could possibly win,” she said.

This year’s gathering will feature performances from venerable bluesman Buddy Guy, Cheap Trick lead guitarist Rick Nielsen and, we hear, a “surprise” ditty from an actually musically inclined elected official.

Didn’t score an invite? You might still catch a glimpse of many of the musical legends in town to party because RA members are expected to blanket the Capitol for their annual lobbying visits next Thursday.

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