support

The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia

Save Saturday, December 4th to join the Rex Foundation at The Fillmore in San Francisco for a special night of music and connection: The Wheel - A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia.  Watch for the full announcement within the week, including ticket details.

There are also some great Rex Musical Caravan events taking place over the next few weeks in different cities that we hope you'll enjoy:

  • Saturday, October 23rd, The Kind Buds perform at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. Click here for event details and more information about Bud & Budd, the talented artists.
  • Saturday, October 23rd, the Reflections Band performs at Mexi Cali Live in Teaneck, NJ, once again supporting the Rex Foundation while also treating fans to their great music. Check out the details.
  • Friday and Saturday, October 29th and 30th, The String Cheese Incident will play a two-day Hulaween celebration at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA, with proceeds supporting the Rex Foundation as well as Rex grantees HeadCount and the Conscious Alliance. Here are the details.

We thank all the talented musicians for their generosity of spirit by including Rex as a charitable part of their live performances.  We welcome musicians, venue operators and others in the musical community to get on board the Rex Musical Caravan to demonstrate how music and community spirit can make a positive difference.

Speaking of music and community spirit, Jam Cruise 9 is including the Rex Foundation as part of their January 4-9, 2011 excursion.  If you have considered taking this cruise, check out what's on deck and how you can help support Rex while also enjoying a music-centered vacation.

This message reflects the ever-growing network of supportive people like you who want to be part of our philanthropic community.  Together, we are furthering what the Grateful Dead started with our major areas of work including grassroots grants, Rex Awards, The World As It Could Be Project, and other creative endeavors including our newsletters that help engender positive social change and community engagement. You make the difference in advancing this work. Check out all the different ways you can help support Rex, even getting something in return besides the satisfaction of seeing all the good that results.

Pepper New 3D Video for "Drunk Girl" Single

This week, Hawaii's reggae-punk heroes Pepper, are celebrating the release of their new, self-produced, Stitches EP out everywhere through the band's own LAW Records imprint. Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Brian "Big Bass Brian" Gardner (Blink 182, Foo Fighters, Jane's Addiction) and recorded at Total Access Studios in Los Angeles (Sublime, No Doubt, Pennywise), Stitches features two new tracks, "Wake Up" and "Drunk Girl," currently seeing heavy rotation around the country at stations such as San Diego's 91X (XTRA), San Francisco's Live 105 (KITS) and West Palm Beach's The Buzz 103 (WPBZ). Stitches also features the new track "Lonely" written and originally performed by friend Mishka Frith (support Boulder-Portland).

Always at the forefront of technology (see also the band's recent Q&A with fans via social network / online broadcast site UStream), Pepper have just completed the production of a hi-tech, one-of-a-kind new video for the EP's single, "Drunk Girl," filmed live on location at The Grove in Anaheim (also the band's recent tour kick-off event) set to premiere worldwide in the coming weeks (fans can get their hands on 3D glasses through the band's website - more details on the premiere of the 3D "Drunk Girl" video coming soon! In addition, and in support of what is arguably their best material to date, Pepper is currently on the road headlining a massive two month series of dates where they'll be joined along the way by friends and guests such as Pour Habit, Brother Ali, Fishbone, and more.

--

About Pepper:

PEPPER, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Kaleo Wassman, bassist/vocalist Bret Bollinger and drummer Yesod Williams, formed in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1997. Having grown up surfing on the island, it’s not a wonder that they would mix their rock “shock and ah” flare, along with their mellow island rhythm roots to create their own truly diverse sound. They have also been known to hypnotize fans of all walks of life with their incredibly sweet harmonies all the while keeping bodies moving on the dance floor. The trio played mostly house parties and garages before finally shipping out to San Diego, CA in 1999 to push their first studio release Give’n It.

In 2001, they entered the Volcom warehouse studio with Steve Kravac (Blink 182, Less Than Jake, MxPx) to record Kona Town, which included the hit single “Give it Up (Dirty Hot Sex)” - which has become one of KROQ’s most played songs to date. On the heels of that success, PEPPER retreated into The Hive, a completely analog studio and home of 311, with legendary producer Ron “The Saint” St. Germain (Bad Brains, Living Colour, 311, Tool, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden) to record In With the Old. When the dust settled from the flurry of large-scale tours, the band recorded the expansive No Shame (originally released by Warner Bros.), which featured a slew of exciting producers including 311’s Nick Hexum, No Doubt’s bassist Tony Kanal and current partner in crime Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers.

PEPPER has sold over half a million records independently and founded their own record label, LAW Records - through which three other artists’ music is distributed: IRATION, Passafire, and The Supervillians. Their music has appeared in many movies (including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Good Luck Chuck), television shows and video game soundtracks as well as having had a number of album tracks appear on Billboard’s “Alternative Songs” chart (including No Shame’s “No Control,” which peaked at 18, and “Give It Up” which peaked at 34). Their song “Your Face,” also from No Shame, is now available for Guitar Hero World Tour.

The band has also amassed a large and loyal following stemming from their non-stop touring which includes numerous rounds on the Vans Warped Tour and outings with reggae legends The Wailers, 311 and Snoop Dogg, to name a few. PEPPER has performed at several festivals including Lollapolooza, Mile High Festival, West Beach Music Festival, as well as many others. In 2008, PEPPER made the rounds through Europe twice alongside Flogging Molly in the spring and Less Than Jake in the fall. They spent their summer of that year celebrating the July release of PINK CRUSTACEANS AND GOOD VIBRATIONS, which peaked at number 11 on Billboard’s “Independent Albums” chart, by hitting up US amphitheatres with longtime friends Slightly Stoopid, and headlined the very first “Here Comes the LAW Tour” - which featured other Law Records artists, The Supervillains and Passafire. The madness continued through the spring of 2009 when PEPPER ventured out for the second time co-headlining the Jagermeister Music Tour with punk rock legends, Pennywise. In the Fall, PEPPER took the party to the streets of Los Angeles playing the second annual Sunset Strip Music Festival with rock legend Ozzy Osbourne.

After spending the early months of 2010 writing and recording new music, PEPPER spent their summer on the annual Unity Tour with long time friends 311, and The Offspring. They played twenty-five big dates including several amphitheaters and arenas. Between Unity Tour, new music, a single, “Wake Up” accompanied by a B side, ”Mirror,” which were released this past July, and plans for a 45+ major market national headlining tour this fall in support of the forthcoming release of their Sitches EP due out Oct 12, 2010, PEPPER fans are sure to get the fix they’ve been craving since 2009!

Cheyenne Marie Mize Donates New Song For Music Therapy!

Louisville-based songwriter Cheyenne Marie Mize is releasing her debut album Before Lately next Tuesday, October 12th, but today we have a special treat for you. When not out on the road or recording, Mize works at a local hospitals’ Music Therapy Department- and now she’s decided to give a little extra back. Cheyenne has released an exclusive song, “Over The Moon,” on her bandcamp page for $1, with all proceeds going to Norton Healthcare’s Music Therapy Departments in Louisville!

Here are some words from Cheyenne about her choice to support this important cause…

“My passion for music therapy is just as strong as my passion for playing music. It actually is the same thing for me. So since I am not giving as much time to music therapy right now, I have found a way to contribute while concentrating on getting my music out into the world. I was excited to record this new song, "Over the Moon," with my friends from Maiden Radio, Joan Shelley and Julia Purcell (who also happens to be a music therapist), just on the heels of our new self-titled release. All of the proceeds from the online sales will be donated to the Norton Music Therapy fund to help with program costs and equipment. The Norton hospital system employs 8 Music Therapists throughout the various hospitals in the Louisville area, all of whom are grant and donor funded. I have worked at several of these hospitals over the past 5 years and have seen all the MT programs grow from the beginning. I have also seen how much can be done with just a little bit of extra funding. Every dollar helps, so we hope that with the combined effort of friends, family, the Louisville community and even listeners from far away, we can give a little back to the Music Therapists that give a great deal every day to make the hospital a more hospitable place. Give a dollar and spread the word!”

Please head over to her bandcamp and support this amazing cause! Mize is about to embark on a North American tour to support Before Lately- she’ll be joined on the road by Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Olof Arnalds (Mum) on the first few shows, and by British songwriter Johnny Flynn on the rest of the tour (all dates below).

US Tour Dates

10/15 - COLUMBUS, OH @ Wexner Center Performance Space (w/ Ólöf Arnalds)
10/16 - LOUISVILLE, KY @ Christ Evangelical United Church (w/ Ólöf Arnalds & Doug Paisely)
10/17 - GAMBIER, OH @ The Horn Gallery at Kenyon College (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/18 - TORONTO, ON @ Lee's Palace (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/19 - MONTREAL, QB @ Il Motore (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/20 - BOSTON, MA @ TT The Bears (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/21 – BROOKLYN, NY @ The Sycamore (CMJ show w/ Christopher Paul Stelling)
10/23 – BROOKLYN, NY @ Surreal Estate (CMJ show w/ Christopher Paul Stelling)
10/24 - PHILADELPHIA, PA @ M Room (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/25 - BALTIMORE, MD @ Sonar Club Stage (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/27 - CHAPEL HILL, NC @ Local 506 (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/28 - ATLANTA, GA @ Masquerade (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/29 - NASHVILLE, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley (w/ Johnny Flynn)
10/30 - MEMPHIS, TN @ Young Avenue Deli (w/ Johnny Flynn)
11/01 - DALLAS, TX @ Prophet Bar (w/ Johnny Flynn)
11/02 - AUSTIN, TX @ Emo's (w/ Johnny Flynn)
11/06 - LOS ANGELES, CA @ The Hotel Café (w/ Johnny Flynn)
11/07 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Rickshaw Shop (w/ Johnny Flynn)
11/08 - SEATTLE, WA @ High Dive (w/ Johnny Flynn)

The Infamous Stringdusters + Trampled by Turtles Announce Tour

The definition of bluegrass is being challenged.  Ever since the "O Brother" bubble burst, string-bands have developed into the mainstream redefining bluegrass and shifting the limiting paradigm of acoustic instruments.  Divergent string-band worlds collide as thrash grassers Trampled by Turtles and virtuosic-jammers The Infamous Stringdusters team up to bring you the Fly Palomino Tour.

The Infamous Stringdusters are at the forefront of a new movement in bluegrass music and touring in support of their Sugar Hill release Things That Fly.   Their unmatched virtuosity has enabled them to take acoustic music to a completely new level. They wield an expansive repertoire touching on masters from Jimmy Martin to John Hartford, but their strength lies in their original compositions.  Dedication to arrangements sets them apart and extended improvisation makes every performance completely unique. The live Stringdusters experience is anti-formulaic, groove friendly, and mind-expanding - not your granddaddy's bluegrass. Unless your granddaddy was Jerry Garcia.


Trampled by Turtles continue touring in support of their latest release, Palomino, which in April became their first #1 debut on Billboard’s Bluegrass chart.  Separating the band from the pack is the contrast of their lightening fast, punk-influenced barn-burners and their lonesome, Townes Van Zandt-inspired ballads. Frontman/songwriter Dave Simonett’s vocals and lyrics capture  the stark MN landscapes and the mood of the North Country like no other current artist with his hauntingly beautiful songs. The bands' unique mixture of rock influences and authentic style have garnered them coverage from a wide range of publications from Daytrotter to Paste to Relix to CMT.
Fly Palamino Tour Dates:

11/04/10 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
11/05/10 Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
11/06/10 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
11/08/10 Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
11/09/10 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
11/10/10 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
11/11/10 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
11/12/10 Falls Church, VA @ State Theatre
11/13/10 Baltimore, MD @ 8×10
11/14/10 Charleston, WV @ Mountain Stage
11/16/10 Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
11/17/10 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
11/18/10 Wilmington, NC @ Soap Box Laundro Lounge
11/19/10 Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre
11/20/10 Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

Ellie Goulding To Release "An Introduction To Ellie Goulding"

Already a success in her native England, 23 year-old UK singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding is scheduled to make her stateside debut with her US debut EP, An Introduction To Ellie Goulding out September 21 on Cherrytree / Interscope. Produced by Starsmith, Goulding’s full length release Lights shot to #1 on the UK chart in March 2010. The focus track, "Starry Eyed" has already received over 10 million views on YouTube.
Ellie has received numerous accolades from her motherland in the form of The Critics Choice Award at the 2010 Brit Awards & topped the BBC sound of 2010 poll.  Goulding’s debut CD has garnered much critical praise. NME calls Lights, “never less than stunning…it marks the emergence of a smart, sincere and talented new pop star,” and Q declares, “There is undeniable greatness afoot here.” After early support slots with Little Boots and Passion Pit, Ellie has just sold out her third UK headline tour. UK festival performances-- Glastonbury, Festival, V Festival, Lovebox and T in the Park--earned her rave reviews.
Described as “electro-folk-acoustic-pop,” Ellie’s songs mix heartfelt emotion with other-worldly atmospherics, spinning electronica into dreamy warmth. If you see her live, you can expect to see her play guitar and drums. Goulding, who will make her maiden voyage to the US in support of An Introduction To Ellie Goulding, is scheduled to perform in Los Angeles at The Roxy on September 28th and in New York on September 30th at Hiro Ballroom. In 2011 Ellie will return stateside to support a special version of her US full length release of Lights.

Legendary Reggae Band The Wailers Contribute Exclusive Studio Track

Oniric Records is proud to announce that legendary reggae band The Wailers, have contributed an exclusive new track titled “A Step for Mankind” to Solution for Dreamers: Season 3, a compilation CD to be released this month. This compilation CD is the third in the “Solutions for Dreamers” series, with this disc created to support the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP).  This is the first studio track from the Wailers in 16 years.
The Wailers “A Step for Mankind” track is exclusively recorded for Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3, written by the remarkable singer/songwriter Duane Stephenson and features hip-hop artist Bishop Lamont.  A songwriter renowned for his portrayal of love, culture and spirituality, Stephenson is well-known for many incredible reggae songs, most notably for his work on Jah Cure’s reggae anthem “True Reflections.” Lamont, an up-and-coming rapper and Dr. Dre protégé known for his hit radio single “Grow Up,” contributes an unforgettable flow in the track’s breakdown. Like many of the Wailers’ best known international hits, the song is a call for world unity and peace with an undeniably distinctive groove. You can check out the song here:
The World Food Programme is the world’s largest organization fighting hunger globally.  WFP is committed to getting food to where it is needed, and saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters.  Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. WFP is a United Nations institution and is voluntarily funded.  In honor of WFP’s noble cause, Oniric Records’ Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3 directs all proceeds to benefit the World Food Programme while the CD is printed on 100% recycled materials.
Oniric Records, founded in 2005 in Santa Barbara, is an independent label dedicated to the promotion of artists who advocate social and environmental change through their music. Unlike many record labels, Oniric Records has taken a different approach than its peers in the music industry. The driving force behind the label is a passion for the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. The "Solutions for Dreamers" series was created to raise awareness and funds for non-profit partners of Oniric Records, such as environmental group Heal The Ocean.  This collective has now provided a perfect opportunity for the world’s most well-known reggae band, The Wailers, to show their support for a cause both they and the label support, alongside Oniric Records artists such as Matthew McAvene, Marc B and Danny Riley.
The Wailers have an unprecedented global fan-base and, together with Bob Marley, have sold an excess of 250 million albums worldwide, and played shows to over 24 million people throughout their 40-year long career. Known for such anthems as “Jammin’,” “One Love,” “No Woman No Cry” and “Exodus,” the band continues to thrill audiences of all kinds with a relentless tour schedule and an unparalleled stage show. Continuing the legacy, the band has recently been in the studio in Jamaica to begin work on an album of all-new material. With Duane Stephenson, they have created a powerful, moving addition to the Solutions for Dreamers: Season 3 – a small taste of music to come from the world’s most famous reggae group of all time, all in support of alleviating the ongoing tragedy of worldwide hunger.
The compilation features 13 international artists including Uru, Marc B, Matthew McAvene, Danny Riley, Bryon Friedman, Matt Jennings, The Aluminum Ponies, Tad Wagner, Reed Thomas Lawrence, J-Radio, Natty Nation,  Chase McBride and The Wailers. All proceeds benefit the United Nations’ World Food Programme.
Check out an earlier Wailers write-up on the Grarteful Web.
Wailers Tour Dates:
Friday, September 17              Easton, MD – Avalon Theatre
Saturday, September 18         Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Sunday, September 19            Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall
Monday, September 20           New York, NY – B.B. King’s Blues Club
Wednesday, September 22    Lexington, Kentucky – Buster’s Billiards & Backroom
Thursday, September 23         Nashville, Tennessee – Live On The Green
Friday, September 24              Carrboro, North Carolina – Cat’s Cradle
Saturday, September 25         Franklin, Ohio – J.D. Legends
Monday, September 27           Jacksonville, Florida – Freebird Live
Wednesday, September 29    Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Revolution
Thursday, September 30         Gainesville, Florida – The Venue
Friday, October 1                       New Orleans, Louisana – House of Blues
Thursday, November 11           Lima, Peru – Maria Angola

Independent Radio Takes Center Stage as Toyota Free Yr Radio Launches Fourth Annual Tour

Toyota’s Free Yr Radio is back, taking its mission to draw attention and support to independent, non-commercial radio on the road across the U.S. with appearances at the nation’s best music festivals, including Siren Fest, Lollapalooza, Mile High, Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, the Voodoo Experience, and CMJ.  Toyota launched Free Yr Radio four years ago to celebrate independent radio as a vital cultural resource.

Britain's Gwyneth Herbert in the United States

Gwyneth Herbert, whose sublime version of Neil Young’s Only Love Can Break Your Heart appeared on the soundtrack to 2009 Rom-Com smash Leap Year has been hailed as a priceless talent. A quirky, original singer-songwriter, inspired as much by Janis Ian and Joni Mitchell, as by Billie Holliday or Nina Simone. Her latest collection, All The Ghosts (on boutique British label Naim Edge) features ten terrific songs, which speak to you directly, without forethought for genre or category. In their melodic immediacy and observational characterization, you might hear the Lennon-McCartney of ‘Sgt Pepper’, or the Ray Davies of ‘Lola’, rather than any jazz stereotype.

Expect witty, captivating vignettes populated by a living, breathing cast of beaten-down dreamers, jaded city-dwellers, and women in a quandary. She appears here on piano and ukulele with support from regular guitar partner Al Cherry and double-bassist Sam Burgess.

One of the UK’s finest and most original singer-songwriters plays three shows in support of All The Ghosts, her critically acclaimed new album. Released in the US on June 8th on Naim Edge (via Allegro)

Thursday 17th June The Living Room http://www.livingroomny.com/ Ludlow Street, New York, USA 10002

Friday 18th June Rochester Jazz Festival http://www.rochesterjazz.com/, Christ Church http://www.christchurchrochester.org/music/ - Made In The UK Series, 141 East Ave, Rochester, New York, USA

Saturday 19th  Rochester Jazz Festival http://www.rochesterjazz.com/, Max of Eastman Place, http://www.maxrochester.net/eastman-place/ 387 East Main St, Rochester, New York NY 14604

San Francisco's BIG LIGHT Announce Summer Tour Dates

San Francisco's Big Light will tour this summer in support of their debut album, Animals In Bloom. The dates mark the furthest the band has pushed outside their hometown in a short three year history. And with good reason. Big Light has made a timeless rock and roll record that demands to be heard beyond the Bay Area. The album's 12 tracks spill over with fuzzed-out guitars, artful lyrical observations and stirring garage pop psychedelia. Hailed as one of the most promising young rock bands in San Francisco, Big Light are now setting their sights on the rest of the country.

Forming circa 2007 as a vehicle for aspiring singer/songwriter/guitarist Fred Torphy to get his songs into the world, BIG LIGHT spent the next three years developing their sound and performing around the West Coast relentlessly. Climbing the S.F. club circuit quickly, they went from playing bar gigs like Bottom of the Hill to headlining The Independent to support slots at the legendary Fillmore sharing bills with the likes of Spoon, Broken Social Scene and Dead Confederate among others. A hit on the festival circuit as well, Big Light has previously performed at Outside Lands, Noise Pop and Wanderlust. On this upcoming tour, they're set for another run of summer festivals, including High Sierra, Summer Camp and Bobolink.

With its debut album, Animals In Bloom, Big Light has crafted a record that has enough indie pop charm to land on the radio, but is adventurous enough to engage those who are looking for more than hooks. Headphone junkies and audiophiles themselves, they've created a "listening experience" that never feels fake or dishonest. Experiencing the new album and watching the band evolve at such a rapid rate onstage, one gets the feeling that Big Light is poised to shine bright for years to come.

Upcoming BIG LIGHT tour dates are:

May 29 | Summer Camp Music Festival | Chilicothe, IL
May 30 | Beat Kitchen | Chicago, IL (w/ Van Ghost)
June 3 | Starry Plough | Berkeley, CA (w/ Nathan Moore)
June 4 | Cater Ranch Music Festival | Bootjack, CA
June 5 & 6 | Bobolink Music Festival | Belden, CA
June 11 | TBD | Providence, RI
June 10 | The Saint | Asbury Park, NJ
June 11 | Brooklyn Bowl | New York, NY (w/ Rotary Downs)
June 12th | Middle East | Boston, MA (w/ Holly Golightly)
June 16th | Humboldt Brew | Arcata, CA (w/ Wendy Darling)
June 17th | High Dive | Seattle, WA (w/ Wendy Darling)
June 18th | Mississippi Studios | Portland, OR (w/ Wendy Darling)
June 19th | Gem State Jam | Boise, ID
July 1-4 | High Sierra Music Festival | Quincy, CA
August 4th | Independent | San Francisco, CA (w/ Apollo Sunshine)
August 26th | Rocks off Boat Cruise| New York, NY (w/ American Babies)

The Voice Project - Singing Ugandan Child Soldiers Back Home

The Voice Project launches to support Ugandan women’s groups who are using music to bring the child soldiers home - Featuring Andrew Bird, Mike Mills, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Joseph Arthur, Joe Purdy, Dawes, SoKo & many more to come...

The Voice Project a US based non-profit supporting the women of Northern Uganda who have been using music effectively to bring soldiers home from Africa’s longest running war, the 24 year old conflict that has devastated the region of Northern Uganda, Congo, Southern Sudan and CAR.

Many soldiers fighting with Joseph Kony's LRA were abducted as children and forced to fight. Many were made to kill their own friends and family, and while many do eventually escape, they often hide in the bush ashamed and afraid to come home because of what they were made to do.

Women in the region, widows and rape survivors, have been banding together into groups to care for each other and the orphans left by the war. Often without the right to even own land, these women have been taking a lead role in the Peace and Reconciliation efforts, one of their main tools: using messages carried in songs spread on the radio and by word of mouth into the bush to let the soldiers know that they are forgiven and that they should come home. And it's working. Soldiers have been hearing the songs and coming home.

Considering the atrocities the women have been subjected to, this is clearly not only one of the greatest uses of music, but also one of the greatest acts of compassion, love, and forgiveness one can find. Co-Founder Hunter Heaney first heard of the women’s efforts and how they were using music to call the soldiers home while working at an IDP camp (Internally Displaced Persons) in the tiny village of Agoro on the Uganda/Sudan border in 2008. He learned the women’s songs from different groups in the region and when they asked him to teach them some, the first one to come to mind was Joe Purdy’s “Suitcase.” Heaney brought the story of how the women were using music home with him, telling friends like music producer Chris Holmes and filmmaker Anna Gabriel. Together they assembled a team of friends like Internet entrepreneurs Kelleigh Faldi and CC Lagator, Web Developer Jason Young, Nicole Grable from the NGO world, and music industry veterans like Jay Sweet, Andrea von Foerster and Ana Calderon, and together started The Voice Project to support the women.

The story was passed to Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros who offered to combine the record release party for his new band’s debut album Up From Below with the project to raise money for the ladies. The money was used to start a small farm in Gulu. The women celebrated and sent their thanks in song, a phone call to Heaney singing the Joe Purdy tune he had taught them nine months before, and a short video of them singing the chorus to Edward Sharpe’s “Home” which has been making its way around the Internet.

From there, the idea for the “cover chain” was born. Taking the lead from the women in Uganda, the friends decided to keep the chain going and have artists pass on the story of the women to other musicians by each covering another’s song, with The Voice Project team filming each link as a series of episodes that would eventually circle back around to the women in Uganda, posting each online and raising money along the way from sponsors, advertisers and donors to support the women, the peace movement, and rehabilitation programs for former child soldiers.

Episodes featuring Andrew Bird, Mike Mills, Dawes, Joseph Arthur, Tom Freund, Joe Purdy and SoKo have already been shot and posted, with upcoming links from Peter Gabriel, Devendra Banhart, The Submarines, Bedouin Clash and many more on the way. A number of non-profits have also been getting behind the project in hopes of raising awareness and support for the war-torn region, including Oxfam International, Witness, HOPE and others.