HURRICANES, WORLDWIDE AND NATIONAL DISASTERS, AND MORALE

 
       
 
Sep 08, 2017, 09:32 AM

Well, here we are again. Another National disaster, on the heels of ANOTHER Natural disaster, and possibly more to come. It is easy to feel like “THE WORLD IS ENDING, WE ARE ALL DOOMED AND THEIR’S NOTHING I CAN DO!” Yeah, sometimes it seems like that. But we actually can do a lot. Helping our fellow man is something that comes naturally to most of us, and musicians, writers and artists, have a role to play as well.

On Sept. 12,13, 14, and on, the music community of Nashville was devastated by what had happened in New York City, Washington, and Shanksville Pa. Most of us had friends, family, in the City, some didn’t know if our people were even alive. I had my favorite aunt, who flew for AMERICAN AIRLINES and we had no idea if she was on one of those planes. WE would later find out she was in Brazil, but we also had cousins who lived a few blocks from Wall Street. So we all had our own scares. Everyone was fine.

But a lot of people like me, felt like ‘WHY AM I WASTING TIME ON MUSIC? IT’S NOT IMPORTANT, AND DOES NOTHING EXCEPT CELEBRATE MY SELF INDULGENCE.” Many around me had the same sentiment. You would have thought EVERY WRITER AND ARTIST WAS READY TO QUIT THE BUSINESS, AND TRY TO “DO SOMETHING WITH THEIR LIVES.”
That feeling lasted for me until Friday night, Sept. 14, when I stood onstage in a bar in FRENCH LICK, INDIANA and played GOD BLESS THE USA, for a fairly packed house. There was a standing ovation, every one patted each other on the backs, hugged, and suddenly were sending me drinks and tips up to the stage. It was like LETTING OUT A BREATH, and everyone felt like “We’ll get through this.”

The same happened around the country. Saturday night live started back with producer Lorne Michaels asking New York Mayor Rudy Guliani, “Can we be funny now?” Rudy said “Why Start now?” And we collectively laughed our butt off. We started recovering, and while we are still not totally okay, we are always better.

The same thing happened in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit. I was supposed to play Key West that weekend and got stranded at the Birmingham airport before I came back to Nashville. Of course the next few days, we watched that going on. Again, feeling helpless, because again, we all had family, friends, in these places. Nashville musicians are from EVERYWHERE. A FEW WEEKS AFTER THAT CAME HURRICANE IVAN, which slammed into ALABAMA AND FLORIDA, right where the Annual FRANK BROWN SONGWRITER’S FESTIVAL was to be held. Most people wanted to cancel, but something told several of this, that this was important. So we went on down.

It couldn’t have been a better thing. The locals, who had been besieged by Katrina AND IVAN, needed relief. They needed a break! We provided that. They said “It made us feel normal.” And we rose to the occassion. Songwriters gave money, tips, CD sales, bought groceries, loaded trucks, and did everything they could to help out. I had lived through this several times because I always seemed to be booked BEFORE or after huge disasters.
Hurricane Hugo in 1989, I was booked the next week in Hilton Head SC.
I was in New York City, at the foot of the World Trade Center, ONE WEEK TO THE MINUTE BEFORE 9-11.
In New Orleans three weeks BEFORE KATRINA.
In Lake Tahoe a month BEFORE huge wildfires hit that area.
Two weeks BEFORE the 1-35 Bridge collapse in Minneapolis Mn. in 2007.
The 500 year flood in Nashville in 2010.
Even back to HURRICANE CAMILLE, in 1969. I was in Birmingham and there were tons of tornadoes around.
I’ve been close to a LOT of tornadoes.

So I’ve been lucky, but also seen up close and personal, not just depression, but AMAZING RECOVERY’S. That’s what we do. We get back up and keep going. And that is where MUSICIANS, WRITERS, ARTISTS, come in. We can help WE can help rebuild people’s spirits. WE can write, record and perform songs about what we see. WE can be a PART of the recovery’s. We can help raise money, do benefits, find individuals, churches or groups to personally support. We have talents, and it is always good to help people in any way we can. Financially, physically or spiritually. It all helps.

We are talking about helping one of the members here, Carroll Kiphin. A very good man, hit hard in Texas. Maybe if some of you can check out his lyrics, possibly help him write some of his songs, include him in your thoughts and prayers, it will do a little bit toward making someone’s life a little better, if only for a little bit. Every little bit helps.

Music is about SOMETHING LARGER THAN OURSELVES. It is about making the world a better place. And that is one of the things WE CAN DO. I hope everyone will help in their own way, and support their friends, families, communities and other people you might have never met. We can make a difference.
But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that WE WILL RECOVER. We are a pretty resliant people in this world. WE have survived world wars, mass starvations, disease, financial collapses, earthquakes, terrorism, Natural disasters and upheavals, volcanoes, and pretty much anything nature or man can throw at us.

AND WE RECOVER. Never forget that. Good luck to you all.
MAB

[ Edited: 11 September 2017 07:38 AM by MBarne4908]
 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 11, 2017, 04:45 AM

My MAB, love this post. Such a thoughtful, timely message. Thank you for it.
Jen

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Sep 21, 2017, 12:15 AM

Well the song I have been working on the past 3 months is related to this topic. A long story I wont go into now. But I hope to have it ready for you to listen and critique soon. Title is pending because of so many reference to NOLA.  New Orleans Louisiana . I was a paramedic during this event .......” Sweet NOLA”

” I’m just a guy with a Guitar”
      BC Caster

 
     
BCCaster Joined Aug 29, 2017
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Sep 21, 2017, 10:16 AM

Hello,

One of the things you have to remember about any “song that has a ‘expiration date” on it, is they expire very quickly. I am sure you were quite involved in the Katrina/New Orleans, thing, but as you know, that was 12 years ago. Ancient history in today’s world. People are now even forgetting about HARVEY, which was two weeks ago, because we have since had IRMA, and yesterday MARIE. Coupled with the earthquake in Mexico, and it is a tough sell on anything that is involved in the 24 hour news cycle.

And you also have to keep in mind that if there is a NATIONAL DISASTER, like Katrina, ALL SONGWRITERS will be writing about the same thing. So it gets an over glut in the market almost immediately. Songwriters write what they see. When we all see the same thing, we all write the same thing. And with new things happening every single minute of every single day, people forget it almost as fast.
After 9-11, EVERYBODY had their own version of the same song. And very few go very far. Just part of the human news cycle.

A way to approach this would be not to make anything as SPECIFIC as New Orleans. You might make it about first responders, police, paramedics, firefighters, volunteers, etc. everywhere, who help others all the time, and not just in any one situation. You might center on those and find elements of each disaster that are Universal.
Unless, of course, if you are in New Orleans, or that would be your target market. Many people do that, of course, most of those are the musicians from the Louisiana area. An odd effect on this is that many people who try to write songs on a specific area, are treated very much like OUTSIDERS by those who were there. There is a lot of the “What do you know about it?” attitude from those who were there.
Proprietary interest, I suppose. Same with men who write about subjects like Breast Cancer, straight people who write about the Homosexual experience, songs with a racial component, people outside a certain area of expertise, are often simply not accepted by those in those situations.

Songwriting is an interesting thing what people will accept or not accept. The more specific an area, the more prone people are to pick them apart.

So I would suggest in your writing, to be aware of the “time frame” elements. One of the sad parts of the current information age, people bore quickly with subjects. We are pretty much always on to the next element of the news cycle.

To show that I do have to practice what I preach, I have experienced the same thing. I once wrote a song called “LUCKY”, which was actually written about displaced animals in the New Orleans area. I did it during a writing excercise with two older women who were concerned about the animals after Katrina. In it I made the song “Lucky” about a dog named “Lucky” who happens to be taken in by the character, and then ends up saving them both. But I was very careful to NOT make it about just Katrina. Because sure as the world, Katrina went past, and those songs were no longer applicable. But because I kept it GENERAL, WHILE SPECIFIC, it was applicable, when other storms hit other places. Five years after that Nashville was hit with a 500 year flood which hit most everyone in this town. It came in handy then. And recently, it has been good to bring that one back out during the present hurricanes in Texas and Florida. If you write them correctly, you can have a lot of opportunities to use them. Sometimes they can be used to raise money or awareness, sometimes they might just make someone feel better.

And that is the purpose of music. Good luck in your writing and if you would like, I’ll post my lyrics up on a thread here so you might see what I am talking about, and see if something might apply to what you are doing.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 21, 2017, 01:40 PM

I Understand what you are saying Marc. That is why I tried to take a different ” Guy Misses Girl” meaning ...well sort of. I would definitely be interested in the critique and to see if my ” Multiple meaning” worked. I am curious to test myself with this song.
Thanks for the input hope to have it ready soon.

” I’m just a guy with a Guitar”
      BC Caster

 
     
BCCaster Joined Aug 29, 2017
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Sep 21, 2017, 01:49 PM

if you wanted to send it to me privately, or if you have it posted somewhere, i’d be happy to take a look at it.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 21, 2017, 02:15 PM

Thanks
The Vocalist is listening to the final edit but I will send you an earlier version. Of course we revised it so, many times . I will send a draft demo that that we are correcting.

” I’m just a guy with a Guitar”
      BC Caster

 
     
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Sep 21, 2017, 02:19 PM

Well if you have revised it, you probably don’t need another opinion. You can re-write these things to death.  Might just get where you are and then let it be. My overall comment was about making it just about Katrina. That is what I meant by “shelf life” and “expiration date.” If you have spent time on it and avoided that, you should be fine.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Sep 21, 2017, 02:23 PM

I can always get better sending it to you PM now

” I’m just a guy with a Guitar”
      BC Caster

 
     
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Sep 21, 2017, 02:51 PM

Marc
My file size is a MP3 at 8.74 MB I think the mail only accepts 250KB. I received one response from you but Im not showing other messages I sent to you.

” I’m just a guy with a Guitar”
      BC Caster

 
     
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Sep 22, 2017, 12:31 PM

I sent you my email. Just send it there. But I’m kind of involved with a lot of things today, getting ready to go out of town. So might not be for a couple days that I can do much.

MAB

 
     
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