Kam Franklin, lead singer of Houston band the Suffers, defends city’s mayor

The Suffers are an eight-piece Gulf Coast soul band from Houston. Kam Franklin, the lead singer is a force of nature, cranking out high voltage hooks while radiating warmth and charm.  They landed in the national spotlight after they scorched a set on one of David Letterman’s final shows, and they were fabulous at Austin City Limits Fest 2015. The band’s identity is so tightly wrapped with their hometown that they actually appear in a tourism video for the city.


In the wake of the catastrophic flooding in Houston, Franklin took to Twitter to defend Mayor Sylvester Turner’s decision not to evacuate the city, by sharing the story of her harrowing evacuation from the city during Hurricane Rita in 2005.

RELATED: Houston floods ‘beyond anything experienced before’

“There’s a huge difference between evacuating a city like Houston (2.4 Million) and Corpus Christi (326K),” she said, after opening a lengthy Twitter thread by calling out armchair analysts decrying her city’s mayor as “you (expletives) that have never evacuated a MAJOR city during a hurricane.”

She brought up some of the factors that folks who have never been forced to evacuate might not consider, like the fact that many people are forced to face the heartbreaking decision to leave their pets.

And she told the story of her own evacuation from the city in 2005, when Houston evacuated before Hurricane Rita, a storm analysts believed would be a direct hit on the city. She said it took her 23 hours to drive from Houston to San Antonio. And she shared a photo of the freeway she traveled on, which is now under water.  The water, she noted, took less than eight hours to fill up.

Oh yeah, she reminded us, and then there are the tornadoes.

HOW TO HELP: Emergency groups, nonprofits aid storm-stricken Texas

(WARNING: Coarse language)

She concluded with the exhortation to be part of the relief effort or leave the conversation.

RELATED: Houston rappers Trae tha Truth, Paul Wall, more respond to Hurricane Harvey

Over the weekend, Franklin’s band, the Suffers, was scheduled to play the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia, but they canceled the gig to “stay home and take care of our families,” the band said in an Instagram post.

The Suffers performs on the BMI stage at ACL Music Festival on Sunday, October 4 2015. (Suzanne Cordeiro / For American-Statesman)


Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s