I RAN ACROSS THIS ARTICLE OF AN EVENT WE THREW LAST YEAR FOR HAITI. IT WAS A SURREAL MOMENT…WHAT SELFLESS, AMAZING ARTISTS TO WORK TOGETHER TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE SALVATION ARMY! THANK YOU TIM FOR THIS WRITE UP!
Wednesday night at 12th and Porter, a group of absolutely phenomenal musicians joined together and donated their time and talent to sing out in one voice that “we can make a difference!”
It was the first night of six, monthly shows in a series of benefit concerts for Haiti relief. The series is called “Healing Haiti One Song At A Time.”
100% of proceeds, through the Salvation Army
, go straight to relieving the great tragedy and perils facing the Haitian people right now. That’s right 100%! This isn’t some event under the guise of a benefit then scrapping off a tiny percentage off the margin to go toward relief.
The lineup Wednesday night was the type of thing that every music lover dreams about. At around 7pm Matt Ridenour
began to play. He and a great accompanying band played several of his original songs, then he ended his set with a clever acoustic version of MJ’s “Billie Jean
”. Immediately following Ridenour, the breathtaking Heidi Rojas
took the stage. I was absolutely blown away by the power in this sensual singer’s voice.
Next on stage was Music City’s own little, Melinda Doolittle
. As everyone out there not living under a rock knows, Doolittle recently finished in 3rd place on the sixth season of American Idol. If those of you out there were impressed by her voice on television, get out there and see this woman live! She’s just incredible. Doolittle also added an amazing touch of humanism to the show. She was absolutely giddy and as star struck as everyone else there with the amazing lineup. Her humbleness, while possessing such extreme talent, is an example to all of us. As a short side note, Melinda Doolittle could possibly be the cutest person on the planet, but that’s just one person’s opinion!
After Doolittle left us all in awe with her voice, the stage was taken by Nashville sensation,Matt Wertz
. Wertz was joined on stage by one of Nashville’s greatest young guitarists, Nathan Duggar, who is well known for playing with Drew Holcomb
and the Neighbors. Wertz played several original hits which included a few that will be on his new album hopefully coming out later this year.
Maintaining the rock and roll vibe in the room, the next musician in the veritable buffet of talent was Franklin, TN
’s own Josh Hoge
. A super skilled lyricist and vocalist, Hoge just might have given me a new favorite song with his duet “Space”. Hoge concluded his fantastic set with a cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” that no one in the house will soon forget.
Now I know you’re asking yourself, “Self, how is this still possibly the same concert? How could this much talent be on the same ticket?” Well just hold on, there’s more to come…
The only word to describe the next performer is “legendary”. Mr. Tommy Sims
was next to take the mic. Sims began by singing the original version of “Change the World” as he had written it back at the age of 16. Sims has a way of singing directly to your heart and I know I found myself more than once with watery eyes as he sang of compassion and cooperation among all people. Watching a musician of his caliber singing with both his voice and his soul, is something I will hold with me forever.
Who was next? More talent? That’s right, Dave Barnes
was there. Barnes has made quite a name for himself with his superior skills as a musician and with his humor. He has basically made his name synonymous with “entertainment”. During his set, Barnes was joined by his friend and fellow Music City artist Andy Davis
. If not impressed with his voice, I think anyone who saw the show last night can attest to Davis’ future as a dancer.
Broussard promised us all“stuff we’d never heard before”, which included an original “Emily” that spoke to any of us out there that have had their hearts bulldozed by unrequited love. I’d love to say I wasn’t in that grouping but alas… The final act of the night, the cherry on the greatest musical sundae that I’ve ever been allowed to indulge in, was the masterful Jonny Lang.
Lang’s set was longer than the rest and was much more a collaborative effort than a showcase. It completely expressed the attitude of the evening, we were all there together, all for a single cause, all working for the same goal.
Lang played a couple of originals, including “Red Light” which ended in an impromptu Bob Marley cover. There is something about a building full of voices all singing those words “everything is gonna be alright” that really moves a person. Again this big guy was brought to tears on multiple occasions during the show’s finale. After playing an original he had written with a previous performer Heidi Rojas, Lang decided to end the show with a group sing along of “You’ve Got A Friend” and lastly Steve Wonder’s “Living For The City”.
I know there were more musicians there that I haven’t named and I apologize. I know Gabe Dixon of the Gabe Dixon Band played and last but not least the incredible backup band that played the entire night. For those forgotten, I apologize again…
I will again reinterate the fact that I’ve seen more than my share of live performances, I’ve been blessed enough to live here in Music City where it seems you can’t throw a rock without hitting a performing musican. Yet I have never been a part of something like I experienced at 12th and Porter on Wednesday night. Wednesday night alone, we raised just shy of $15,000 to help the suffering people of Haiti. We did so by simply celebrating life, celebrating music, and banding together as a group of people who care. Tickets for the show were $40. For my donation of $40, I got to see one of the, if not the best lineups I’ve ever seen in one concert and enjoyed over 5 hours of soul strengthening music.
Do you have any idea how much $40 can help a Haitian family? Any difference I can make to help the suffering of another human being is a price worth paying. Everyone can make a difference, every little bit helps. These people are experiencing horrors that I pray no one else will ever have to experience. This was only the first show in the series of 6 at 12th and Porter. I urge all of you out there, search your soul and see where that $40 is best spent. Wednesday night was a night I will never forget. I can’t guarantee the lineup at the remaining shows but I can guarantee, if you go, you’ll be moved.
I leave you with a quote from the late John F Kennedy, “One person can make a difference and every person should try.”
Pictures from that night: