The supergroup will perform — for one night only at the Hamilton — as “Phil and the Busters.” Event organizer Leavell says the musicians developed the moniker in a lively email chain. “We wanted something appropriate for the event and for Washington — we threw out a bunch of names, like ‘The Editors,’ ” he said.
The longtime Stones keyboardist was behind last year’s concert, then a new addition to the lineup of WHCD pre-parties, for his enviro-news organization Mother Nature Network. That event, like this year’s, featured bands whose members include journalists. One new addition, besides Phil and the Busters? New York Times scribe Carl Hulse will take the stage with his band, the Nativemakers.
Leavell said he was pleasantly surprised by the Fourth Estate’s performances. “The level of musicianship was surprisingly good,” he said. “And certainly they have the passion.”
Getting the all-star pros to show up wasn’t difficult, he said.
Mills, who will also sit in on a tune with the Sequoias — the band featuring The New Yorker’s David Remnick — wasn’t a hard sell. “It’ll be bunch of writers, and they’re always a lot of fun,” he said.