You can always count on Nashville entertainers and music lovers to come together for a good cause. Earlier this year, Nashville’s Mayor Megan Barry proclaimed that Friday, October 20th would be Heal the Music Day to raise awareness of and provide support for the over 42,000 Nashvillians who work in the music industry who are without access to health benefits. In true Nashville style, the non-profit group Music Health Alliance, partnered with Musicians Corner, and gathered artists and fans into Centennial Park for a concert benefiting the first annual Heal The Music Day. I could not think of a better way to check out the new event than catching the twilight indie-folk performance of Erin Rae.
With guitar in hand and suited up for the occasion, Rae chose to do a minimalistic acoustic set that allowed her storytelling—both lyrical and conversational—to connect with her audience. Over gentle strumming, Rae’s soulful folk vocals filled the park and brought everyone to a pause to listen. With the soothing “Soon Enough,” Rae sang encouragement to fellow artists—and herself—about the glory days yet to come. Toes were tapping to the up-tempo “Bad Mind” and heads nodded along with “Playing Old Games.” Sharing new music, Rae tackled conflicting mental states with “Wild Blue Wind,” showcasing her true modern-Americana sound.
Even before the show, you could tell that Rae had a personal connection with the cause through her many compelling posts in support of the event. The backbone of the music industry is independent artists, self-employed professionals, and small companies. Everyone close to the music industry has a friend or family member that has been affected by the lack of insurance coverage. Rae gratefully shared that Music Health Alliance had helped her get insurance coverage early in her career.
While the event drew less people than I expected, I reminded myself that this was its inaugural year. Between the musical talent on stage and the partnerships in support of a worthy cause, I am encouraged by what the future holds for Heal The Music Day. As part of a stellar lineup curated by the legendary Rodney Crowell, Erin Rae brought focus to the cause while adding a melody that had children dancing in front of the stage—which is how we do things in the Music City.
[This lovely coverage was provided by Eo8’s own George Maifair.]