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Season to Risk show will be a reunion and a memoriam

Season to Risk is (from left) Wade Williamson, Duane Trower, Paul Malinowski, Jason Gerken and Steve Tulipana.
Season to Risk is (from left) Wade Williamson, Duane Trower, Paul Malinowski, Jason Gerken and Steve Tulipana.

Sunday’s show at the RecordBar is a reunion in more ways than one.

For only the third time in four years, the venerable Kansas City band Season to Risk will perform. More accurately, two versions of the band will perform.

“For the first half, we’ll play selections from the first two records with Jason Gerken on drums and Paul Malinowski on bass,” said lead singer Steve Tulipana, also co-owner of RecordBar. “Then we’ll play (songs from) the next two records with Dave Silver on drums and Josh Newton on bass. Wade (Williamson) and Duane (Trower) and I will play on all the songs.”

The set list will include some rarities from the band’s discography, which comprises four full-lengths, the first of which, “Season to Risk,” was released in 1992.

“We’ll play some songs we haven’t played in 20-some years, songs from the first record,” Tulipana said. “There’s a song called ‘Home’ we used to do from that record that we stopped playing live because it’s kind of mellow. But we’re old and mellow now, so … Not really. We just wanted to revisit it.”

The show, which will include performances by Medicine Theory and Not Sisters, also is a benefit and a reunion for people who worked at the Hurricane in Westport, which became the Riot Room in 2008.

Proceeds from the show will go to the family of Whitney Burk, a longtime Hurricane employee who died recently after battling cancer. Burk moved to Seattle years ago, where she raised her son and daughter, now teenagers.

“She fought cancer for several years,” Tulipana said. “Last year, when she knew the odds of beating it were pretty slim, she came back here to just hang out with friends. She told us she wanted us to have a party in her memory, not a funeral. So we are.”

The event has renewed and reinvigorated connections among former employees and patrons of the Hurricane.

“We’ve kept up a Hurricane message board, and a lot of us use it to reconnect and stay in touch,” said Tulipana, who worked at the Hurricane for nearly 10 years, stopping when the RecordBar opened in 2005.

“So many of us came out of that place. We’ve become kind of an extended family. That’s not that unusual in the restaurant industry, so I’m not saying this is unique or special. But it exists, and it’s important to us.”

Admission is $10 but attendees are welcome to donate more if so inclined. The event, deemed “Wonder Whitney Celebration,” will include a silent auction of items and services. All of the money will go to Burk’s children to be spent as they wish.

The night will be a celebration of her life and of a community that has endured and stayed together through good times and bad.

“Whitney always had such a positive attitude, even when she was sick,” Tulipana said. “She was the kind of person who just lit you up and made you want to live.

“This will be a chance to remember her and reconnect with people we saw all the time during those years, which were really formative. Those were the kind of days that stick with you forever.”

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain


Season to Risk performs Sunday at the RecordBar, 1520 Grand Blvd. Medicine Theory and Not Sisters are also on the bill. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. Proceeds go to the family of Whitney Burk.