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FestivaLink.net Music Collection to Benefit Musicians in Need

By Garian Vigil
September 3, 2010 - 3:30 am

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A new collection of live songs from the live music download site FestivaLink.net will benefit the Bluegrass Trust Fund, an emergency financial aid program administered by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

The songs were recorded earlier this year at the North Carolina roots music festival MerleFest, and confirmed contributors to the collection include well-known bluegrass, country and folk artists such as Doc Watson, Sam Bush, Travelin' McCourys, Steve Martin, Jim Lauderdale, the Waybacks and Donna the Buffalo.

The three-volume collection, MerleFest 2010 Live for the Bluegrass Trust Fund, with over three hours of live music, will debut in September, coinciding with International Bluegrass Music Month and the IBMA's industry conference World of Bluegrass held in Nashville, Tenn., September 27-October 3. The collection will be available for download and mail order CD on Friday, September 3.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable Bluegrass Trust Fund was established in 1987 as a means to offer financial assistance to bluegrass music professionals in time of emergency need. There is no limit to the amount an applicant may request, but grants have generally ranged from $500 to $5000. To date, FestivaLink has raised $2,300 for the Bluegrass Trust Fund with its other releases of MerleFest jam performances, says FestivaLink CEO Ann Blonston.

Up until now, the artist royalties that are donated by FestivaLink artists come from a handful of MerleFest titles, the various multi-artist 'jam performances' from earlier festivals. Although jams were not on the MerleFest program in 2010, this new project provided an opportunity to invite all MerleFest main stage artists to contribute to the cause, according to Blonston. More than 20 artists have contributed their artist royalties from this collection.

"We want to illustrate a simple idea for our music industry peers. There is some income that can seem trivial; some digital sales revenue is for less than cost of the stamp used to send it - I know because we've written those checks. Artists seem pleased to see that those small sums can be aggregated for a greater benefit," Blonston says. "We try to make it easy for artists to name a charity as payee for their royalties."

James Nash, lead singer of the Waybacks, agrees. "So many of my musician friends and heroes have little to no health insurance for themselves or their families," he says. "The Bluegrass Trust Fund is a great way to give back a little to the artists who have created this music we all treasure, and we're honored to be involved."

Even as the sun was shining at MerleFest 2010, it was raining in Tennessee. Many MerleFest artists returned to Nashville to find flooded homes, damaged instruments and worse. The Bluegrass Trust Fund helped flood victims plus met the usual requests during this recession for help for housing, medical bills and funerals from members of the bluegrass music community.

"The donations made to the Bluegrass Trust Fund are an important part of helping bluegrass professionals in time of dire need," says IBMA Executive Director Dan Hays. "The regular royalty contributions provide continuing resources for those in our community facing circumstances that threaten health, family and home. The Trust's ability to help relies on the generosity of others. We are humbled by the special relationship we have with FestivaLink.net."

Among those donated cuts are "Walking in Jerusalem Just Like John," a collaboration by the Lee Boys and the Travelin' McCourys; "I Feel the Blues Moving In" by WPA, the relatively new Sean Watkins/Glen Phillips project; a live version of "The Crow," the title track from Steve Martin's GRAMMY-winning album; and "The Ballad Of Stringbean and Estelle," Sam Bush's IBMA-award nominated song about the murder of a Grand Ole Opry star in the '70s.

FestivaLink's mission is to capture unique 'festival moments' in roots music and make them widely available in a high quality format. The live music download site launched with shows from MerleFest 2006, and since has added shows from Grey Fox Bluegrass, Newport Folk Festival, Taos Solar Music Fest and Mountain Jam festival, among others.

Volume One - Roots

"The Crow" - Steve Martin with Steep Canyon Rangers
"I Feel The Blues Movin' In" - WPA
"Jack Of The Wood" - The Kruger Brothers
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" - The Kruger Brothers
"Old Time Medley: Frosty Morn/The Coo Coo Bird/Twin Sisters" - The Kruger Brothers
"Out On The Ocean" - Sam Bush
"The Ballad Of Stringbean And Estelle" - Sam Bush
"Mighty Storm" - The Duhks
"Nobody Loves You Like A Mountain Girl" - The Tony Williamson Band
"Ready For The Times To Get Better" - David Holt & the Lightning Bolts
"Ain't No Sunshine" - David Holt & the Lightning Bolts
"Trouble In Mind" - Doc Watson & Friends
"Nine Pound Hammer" - Doc Watson & Friends
"Climbing Devil's Pass" - Dehlia Low
"Plains Of Tellico" - Dehlia Low

Volume Two - Rocks

"Locket And Key" - Donna the Buffalo
"No Place Like The Right Time" - Donna the Buffalo
"Forty Days And Forty Nights" - Donna the Buffalo
"Been Around" - The Waybacks
"Lowdown" - The Waybacks
"Tired of Being Right" - The Waybacks
"Lee Of The Stone: South" - Cadillac Sky
"Human Cannonball" - Cadillac Sky
"Rock In The Woods" - The Wilders
"Kansas City Star" - The Wilders
"Corina" - Scythian
"Blair Athol" - Scythian
"I'm Not Tired" - The Lee Boys
"Come On, Help Me Lift Him Up" - The Lee Boys
"Walking in Jerusalem Just Like John" - The Lee Boys & The Travelin' McCourys

Volume Three - Folks

"Time To Stand" - The Belleville Outfit
"I'll Get Home Someday" - The Belleville Outfit
"Baby Bye Bye" - The Belleville Outfit
"Wayfaring Stranger" - Anne & Pete Sibley
"Past The Point Of Rescue" - Anne & Pete Sibley
"Victory Rag" - Andy May
"Brand New Day" - Andy May
"Chicken Ridge" - Jeni & Billy
"Pretty Fair Miss" - Jeni & Billy
"Blue Lines On White Paper" - Laurelyn Dossett & Friends
"Remember You Calling" - Laurelyn Dossett & Friends
"Anna Lee" - Laurelyn Dossett & Friends
"Wrong Kind Of Man" - Shannon Whitworth
"Here But Never Home" - Shannon Whitworth
"No Expectations" - Shannon Whitworth
"Tales From The Sad Hotel" - Jim Lauderdale with Bryn Davies & Donna the Buffalo
"Halfway Down" - Jim Lauderdale with Bryn Davies & Donna the Buffalo


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