The Righteous Mothers concert supports two critical community needs

As a benefit for the Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center and the San Juan Agricultural Guild, the unflappable Righteous Mothers will be whipping their audience into a frenzy at the Brickworks Tokitae Stage June 16 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.

“This is our way of giving back,” Clare Meeker, Righteous Mothers band member said. The Family Resource Center does amazing work for the most vulnerable members of the community, and the Ag Guild’s support of small local farms is also vital to the islands.

“We will use the contributions to help support our infant and toddler program,” Jennifer Armstrong, Executive Director of the Family Resource Center, told the Journal. Care on the island for infants and toddlers is currently a critical need, and has been since Pre-Covid. Two years ago, during a critical needs survey, the Resource Center learned that over the past five years, the community has lost 40 percent of available child care, and what is left has become very expensive. There are no infancy care and only a few toddler spots. During the pandemic, many women had to step away from careers, Armstrong said, in order to take care of their kids, and they have not been able to get back to it. “two years ago we set up the tuition-based cooperative program so we could serve a broad spectrum across the community,” Armstrong said. To learn more about what the Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center does, visit

The Agricultural Guild will be using the contributions toward their mission of supporting vibrant sustainable food systems, especially their FARM Fund microloan program.

These micro-loans, according to their website, offer zero percent interest loans to San Juan County farmers.

The site states “The FARM Fund is committed to pursuing innovative ways to bring nutritious food to all islanders’ tables while also promoting the economic growth and viability of San Juan County farmers. Repayment of the loan will be in-kind food donated or sold at greatly reduced rates to food banks, senior and youth food programs, and other food access programs during the grant cycle after a contract is signed at 10% of the value of the loan.

Loan applications can be up to $2,500 and will be considered in a competitive process with no application fee. Funding may support completing a project, purchasing new equipment, building new infrastructure, or covering operating costs like composting and hiring additional farm labor. Applicants must have a minimum of two years of commercial growing experience. Farms who have received a FARM Fund award and have not handed in a final report are not eligible for this funding.”

To learn more about FARM microloans email

To learn more about the Ag Guild, visit

The band consists of four musicians, Meeker, Marla Beth Elliott, Wendy Crocker and Lisa Brodoff, and the manager is Lynn Grotsky. When asked how the name of the band originated, Meeker explained that Elliot, who has a passion for theater, had thought of the name long before they came together. When they were brainstorming for names, Elliot suggested it and it stuck.

Located in the Seattle area, (Meeker and her husband live on San Juan) the band has performed at major festivals around the country including the Vancouver Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, Kerrville Folk Festival, and the National Women’s Humor Festival. They’ve also played conferences for the Girl Scout Executive Directors, the Clipped Wings flight attendants’ organization and many more. They even played for the Seahawks union when they were on strike. Some 40 years ago, these four ladies came together despite having varying experiences and careers. Their love of music and similar life perspectives resulted in the creation of a group described as “four funny, philosophical female musicians who whip audiences into a frenzy with their original songs, theatrical antics and close harmony vocals and guitar, piano base, and percussion accompaniment.”

The Righteous Mothers write all their own music and have amassed 100 songs in their collection. Meeker explained the process beginning with one member bringing a music fragment or lyric that has been running through their mind to the group and the four of them run with it. They rarely do covers, with one exception. Often when introduced people hear Righteous Brothers rather than Righteous Mothers, so as a tribute they occasionally play a Righteous Brothers song, “You’ve Lost that Loven Feeling” in particular.

Their songs don’t all fit into one genre either.

“We call ourselves genre-bending because we don’t stick to just one style or genre. It doesn’t work. Each song comes out in its own way,” Meeker said.

The set list for the Brickworks event includes songs like Jakes Choice, about relationships, and leaving abusive relationships, and Pesky Angels, about being careful what one wishes “You never know what life is going to do with you or how you might respond,” Meeker said. Both Pesky Angels and Jake’s Choice are in a gospel style.

There are also songs about climate change, motherhood, and careers.

The group will be joined by guest musician, music producer, and arranger Julian Smedley.

“He is a violinist and plays a wicked guitar,” Meeker said. There is clearly mutual admiration between the band and Smedley, as he said “The Righteous Mothers are unique in moving music-inspired activism forward. I continue to be inspired by their songwriting craft as they confront ‘thorny’ issues with an irresistible mix of humor and sensitivity.”

Case in point, two of their videos have become popular across social media and the internet, “Misogynistic Hetero Man,” and “Old Fat Naked Women for Peace.” The titles hint as to why.

Check out their website at to listen to their music and learn more about them.