I want to take a minute to put some thoughts together on the recent events that we all have witnessed with Hurricane Harvey. It isn’t often that I will do something like this, but times like these deserve some thoughts of mine.
Watching from a far, here in Massachusetts, this Hurricane feels different than most any other storm, attack or event, I have witnessed. For nearly a year now, I have put so much of my time outside of work, friends and family, into creating a place to share music and my personality. While I do venture to mainstream or other regions, it’s largely based on the acts in Texas. Both upcoming and established. It has been a dream come true for me to have something that I can work on and feel like I am building something. Ask anyone I know. Most people know that John Aldo wants his own company. I’m wired to have my own business because it’s special to me. I don’t mind putting in time to do something that I am passionate about. And with Pitstop for Country, it feels as close as I have ever come.
The artists I have had a chance to talk to. Those that I have emailed, phone chatted, and otherwise communicated with on social media. It’s crazy. It’s partly because I have been diligent in my efforts to learn and I am blessed that some incredible people have taken notice of my passion. They don’t have to do that and believe me, I’m the type of person that always remembers that. Hell, the extra goodies when I make a merch purchase on some occasions, a hand written note… words can’t describe how amazing that is. The sheer fact that someone appreciates what you have tried to do to spread the word about their music. Never would I ever expect something like that. I am blown away when it happens and incredibly thankful and someday hope to return the favor.
So all the while I’m sitting here watching the news and seeing so many people displaced from their homes. It hurts. It’s awful and I mean it. It is hard to watch. We are so fortunate in this part of the country to not have as many natural disasters but it does come at a cost with the winters. Something that I would like to leave behind eventually. But man, seeing people have to evacuate their homes. Elderly people trapped yet somehow are thankfully rescued by being seen on social media. Vehicles are submerged, highways are filled with water and people have been injured. People are missing. People have died. It’s scary and it’s a terrible feeling to know that it has affected so many people. My thoughts are with all of the volunteers and professionals in their efforts to selflessly save others.
What has been a beacon of hope through the all of this, has been the outpouring of support from musicians that I have seen on social media. Some of the artists are big, there’s no question about that. But some of them are small. Incredible acts, but they’re not wealthy people. They work hard to make ends meet, just like the rest of us. And they are offering to do benefit shows. Donate the proceeds from their merch and album sales. Donate their time and self to physically help victims. People, that is what this country is all about. Far to often we see horrible stories all over the news and web, yet here we have people from all walks of life coming together to help one another. People are inherently good - we forget that sometimes. The people of Texas have shown that when someone is in need, there is an outstretched hand, waiting to help them up.
Having read some of the posts, I have donated to the American Red Cross. Please consider doing the same and help out these good people. They need it and it makes a difference when enough people pitch in.
As Ray Wylie Hubbard posted Monday: “okay, I believe in prayer and thinking and sending thoughts is nice but cash and boats are gonna help a lot faster…”
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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