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Nashville artists help out after tornadoes | The Berkshire Eagle


By Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Members of the Grammy-winning string band Old Crow Medicine Show put down their fiddles and banjos and picked up chainsaws last week after deadly tornadoes hit middle Tennessee.

“When I am doing this relief work in north Nashville and east Nashville and Donelson, the guys in Old Crow got their chainsaws out,” said lead singer Ketch Secor on Monday night, nearly a week after the severe storms. “We love our concerts and our audience, but when this happens in our town, we’re out there leading the charge.”

Nashville musicians banded together both in their community, but also on stage during a benefit concert Monday night called “To Nashville, With Love” featuring a dozen artists playing to raise money for relief efforts. Some of the musicians who performed don’t live in Tennessee full-time, but record there and have close connections.

British singer-songwriter Yola got to work immediately, helping organize the concert in less than a week. Performers included Old Crow Medicine Show, Sheryl Crow, Dan Auerbach, Jason Isbell, Soccer Mommy, Brothers Osborne and Ashley McBryde. The proceeds from Monday’s concert were going to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. At least six tornadoes hit the state and killed 24 people.

Many in the town’s musical community were impacted. Country star Dierks Bentley and his crew showed up in gloves and boots to help his drummer, Steve Misamore, whose home was severely damaged. Dualtone Records’ Nashville office was directly hit, as well as a popular club called The Basement East.

Mike Grimes and Dave Brown, co-owners of The Basement East, said staff members were finishing their shifts early Tuesday morning after a Bernie Sanders fundraising concert when one person stepped outside and saw a funnel cloud approaching. The staff grabbed three pedestrians off the street and huddled in the basement as the tornado tore down the venue’s cinderblock walls and ripped off the roof. No one was hurt at The Basement East, but two people were killed as they were leaving a neighboring bar.

Just as the town’s artists donated their time and money to help others after the flood in 2010, already many donations are pouring in. Taylor Swift announced a $1 million donation for tornado relief efforts and country duo Dan + Shay donated $100,000.

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