People who have been listening to bluegrass and other acoustic music for many years already know, but I thought that the rest of you might like to hear about how a community can help it’s members. Recently, we have heard of many instances of musicians and fans helping out when help is needed. These stories of how the community of bluegrass rally around its members are not found in the mainstream press, it is up to us to share the love, the results, and the possibilities.
Two members of Don Rigsby’s band, Dale Vanderpool and Gerald Evans, Jr., are fighting cancer. A benefit spearheaded by Joe Mullins which was held on the weekend before Christmas raised some much needed funds for the men and their families. We were unable to attend, but the wonderful efforts of those responsible were never far from our hearts as we carried our our family plans the weekend of the benefit.
Yesterday, members of Andy Hamilton’s band, East Kentucky Grass, outlined their plans for a benefit for Andy, who is battling cancer. They emphasized the benefit over all else, and reminded us to keep Andy in our prayers.
Over Christmas break, the heart warming story of David McLaughlin’s hearing loss and how Claire Lynch jumped up to help him has been in the bluegrass headlines.
Papa and I were driving down a rather snowy I-75 on Friday morning, headed (where else?) for a bluegrass show in Perrysburg, Ohio, when an article detailing David McLaughlin’s response to Claire’s efforts hit my feed reader. I read David’s letter, which was posted on the Bluegrass Blog, out loud to Papa. I was pretty choked up by the end, and so was Papa.
These events remind me of the small town I grew up in; everyone loved and helped their neighbors. People took time to care what was happening, and participate. I hope the communities that you belong to and take part in are as warm and loving as the bluegrass community is!