But Houser, who had been set to headline the country music festival Saturday, was determined to make it back to the Pozo Saloon — a place he had wanted to revisit since he played there for Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour in 2011.
“I know the fans planned to camp out, have their weekend, and I know what it’s like when plans are canceled and all of a sudden you don’t have something to do,” Houser said. “I felt they deserved better than that.”
So, Houser enlisted the help of his friend, actor Johnny Galecki of “The Big Bang Theory,” who owns a ranch in Santa Margarita and knows the saloon’s owners.
“I consider them family up there and everyone in the surrounding area, pretty much,” Galecki said, adding that he had planned to come to the Pozo Stampede to watch Houser perform. “When the Stampede was canceled, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to gather friends and family around and do something great for the area, and for Pozo, and for charity as well. It was just a no-brainer.”
Houser will perform Saturday at the Pozo Saloon along with two other acts originally slated to perform at the Pozo Stampede, Tyler Farr and Jade Jackson. (The latter hails from Santa Margarita.) Admission to the concert — which starts at 3 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. — is free, but donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are welcome.
We don’t know what to expect. We’ve asked a lot of people, some crazy asks, you never know who’s going to come do it.
As for other performers lined up, well, even Houser’s not sure who could show up.
“We don’t know what to expect,” he said. “We’ve asked a lot of people, some crazy asks, you never know who’s going to come do it.”
Anyone who connects with the cause and the spirit of the event is welcome.
“It’s going to be a revolving door of weird musical carneys,” Galecki said. The actor may even join Houser onstage for a few songs.
Saturday’s concert, which sprung up in response to the Pozo Stampede’s cancellation, is, in Houser’s words, “a little loosey-goosey.”
“There’s no format for the night. We don’t really know what’s going to go down, but it should feel like everyone was included,” he said. “This is for everybody, and I want it to feel like that.”
“It’ll be flawed, hopefully in a beautiful way. It won’t be cookie-cutter by any means,” Galecki said. “And it won’t be filmed, either. Either you’re there, in attendance and part of it, or you missed it.”