Photo: Lampedusa Benefit, with Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle and more, at the Wiltern

Joan Baez at the Wiltern (Photo by Andie Mills)
Joan Baez at the Wiltern (Photo by Andie Mills)

Formidable talent gathered in support of an important cause on Tuesday night at the Wiltern, where the L.A. installment of Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees brought nine singer-songwriters to the stage for a benefit concert.

Participating were Alynda Segarra (Hurray For The Riff Raff), Buddy Miller, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile and the Mastersons.

The acoustic performance featured all the artists seated onstage, trading off songs. Each artist performed two songs individually, but the program began with the entire ensemble performing the late Tom Petty’s “Refugee.” Among the highlights were the new song by Baez — who allowed as how it’s first she’s written in 25 years — titled “Nasty Man,” which is about the current resident of the White House.

There also was Tasjan’s funny song “12 Bar Blues,” as well as Carlile regaling her very vocal fans with stories about her wife, their daughter and the fact that they’re expecting another baby soon. She said that she feels like she has to talk about her family a lot, to make a point of their “right to exist.” She also talked very candidly and humorously about being a mom and then sang a song called “The Mother,” which was humorous and warm.

Griffin shared statistics about refugees and the world crisis: There is currently the largest number of refugees in camps around the world since WWII, she noted, adding that the average amount of time a refugee spends living in a camp is 17 years.

The concert was one of 11 nationwide stops on a tour supporting the cause.

Photos by Andie Mills