My name is Brittney Westover and my father, Richie West, wrote over 100 country songs before he died. His last wishes were for me to stay in touch with his side of the family in Texas, and for me to sell his songs. I was only 14 years old when he passed away. I live in California, and have only been back to see my relatives in Texas twice since Dad died. I'm 27 now, and I've been working tirelessly with my good friend John Ennis (Mr. Show, The Warm-Up Guy) and a band we put together to revive some of Richie West's best songs. Filmmaker Nick Weidner has been attending rehearsals since the beginning to document our process. We hope to fulfill my Dad's last wishes by performing the songs at my family reunion's 40th Anniversary in Childress,Texas this August.
This trip is an essential part of the documentary film we are creating because most of my Texas relatives have never heard my Dad's songs, and I would love to surprise them all by bringing the band and playing a full set. I also plan to visit my Dad's grave and pay my respects. I hope that he would be proud of what I have done with the songs and the legacy he left behind.
The Bruce Family reunion is the weekend of August 5th, 6th, and 7th, so our plan is to rent a van on the morning of August 4th, pile in the band, the film crew, and all the equipment, and drive straight through. We will check into our hotel rooms in Childress on Friday night, August 5th, and meet up with some of my relatives for dinner and drinks that evening. There is a luncheon the next day where the original "Last Two Step in Texas" documentary film that my dad and my uncle made in the 1970s about our annual family reunions will be shown. Later that evening, during the big family dance, the Richie West Band will make its debut. On Sunday morning, the entire family will caravan over to Hulver cemetery, the site of our family plot where my father is laid. We will hold hands in a circle and say a prayer for our lost loved ones, as well as acknowledge new additions to the family and send love to those in the family who couldn't make it to the reunion. When we depart, we will all be richer for having shared this precious time together, however brief.
The money raised from this kickstarter project will go towards van and equipment rental, gas money, hotel rooms, and film production. $1000 should just about cover our needs for this on-location film excursion. If we surpass our goal, the rest of the money will go towards DVD duplication and recording costs for the upcoming Richie West Band LP.
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