Give To The Gulf and Get Some Cool Tunes

Four bright entrepreneurs and musicians from Maryland and Connecticut converged in Hartford to bring about an innovative and original online fund raising campaign.  This conscious group of artists was motivated by the desire to make a difference in the lives of those people affected by the devastating Gulf oil spill disaster this year.  A new website — Give To The Gulf™ — encourages “giving through music”.   It was created in only three short weeks, and musicians and songwriters from all parts of the United States banded together and chipped in to be part of the relief effort.  The site had its official launch today in East Hartford with a kickoff celebration at L&R Productions.

Give To The Gulf’s message is about being part of the global solution and taking local action.  Eric Knight, one of members of this quartet of musician/entrepreneurs is the founder of Remarkable Technologies, and he was the one who came up with idea and the name.  Knight is a prolific inventor who was actually already noted for his proposal and simple solution to fix the gushing oil problem back in May 2010.  Uniting with Eric were Paul Lombardo and Tom Russo of L&R Productions Inc., and Mike Sokol of JMS Productions Inc. in Maryland.  Give To The Gulf™ is an all-volunteer effort.  This newly formed team developed the online model for the website portal, collaborated with musical artists from all across America, and established relationships with iTunes and TuneCore and other corporate partners to make the site a reality.  Give To The Gulf, Volume 1 features eleven original songs as an album download.  The title track is available to view on YouTube.

“All over the country people are asking how they can help their fellow Americans in the Gulf. We thought it could be as simple as sharing music and downloading a song,”  Eric Knight said in Farmington, CT.   “The project was an intense collaboration.  We worked tirelessly to find the perfect lyrics, the perfect music, and the perfect sound to capture an anthem that will resonate and inspire people to action.”  I heard the song, and it is catchy.

When visitors download the album’s music through iTunes, 100% of the revenue that musicians would usually get will go directly to the United Way Gulf Recovery Fund.  The Fund supports long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts through educational, financial and health-related programs.  It also provides emergency assistance, including help with food, rent, utilities, etc.  The concept of this effort is simple – by giving money, people get great music.  Musicians from around the world who submit their music to be part of the fund raising effort retain all ownership and copyrights to their music.  After submitting the material, the website acts as a pipeline to Apple’s iTunes system under the Give To The Gulf™ music label umbrella.

“I simply could not be more proud of what we’re accomplishing for Gulf-coast residents,” said Knight.  “What started as a simple phrase — ‘Give To The Gulf’ — that popped into my head about six weeks ago has blossomed into a wonderful collaboration of people with very generous hearts. Fueled by technology, it is refreshing to see how the power of people and ideas can accomplish great things for our fellow citizens.”

Paul Lombardo commented after Knight, “The music in Volume 1 is quite diverse, and as we continue to reach out to musicians and songwriters globally, the diversity will grow richer.  This is all about people helping people.  The quality of the songs and productions that artists have generously donated to the cause is outstanding.  Now, all Americans can engage in this effort with us by enjoying great music while supporting a very worthwhile cause.”

Tom Russo also had this to say.  “In three short weeks, our team has moved mountains to bring this effort to life. Writing the lyrics for the title track has been an inspiring labor of love motivated by the desire to help those truly in need.  And just as the clean-up will take an on-going effort, we have created a model through the Give To The Gulf Web portal that will keep giving.  We encourage songwriters and artists from around the world to contact us as Volumes 2 and 3 are already in the works.”

Rounding up the interview was Mike Sokol:  “Music is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Since pre-history, it’s been used to calm or uplift or call us to action. But there was little opportunity for individual musicians to reach beyond their own circle of listeners – until now.  Give To The Gulf leverages technologies such as TuneCore and iTunes to allow songwriters from every walk of life to come together and help raise both awareness and funds in a global effort to save our environment.  It’s a great privilege to be part of this initiative.”

Anyway, I just wanted to report on this news story.  Sounds like a great opportunity for songwriters and musicians — Sounds like a great cause — Sounds good to me.

Here is the official music video:

Be your best … write strong and write true!

Dean