In the aftermath of disaster, healing is a slow process, one that's measured not so much in days and weeks as it is in months and years. But as New Orleans proved in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it can in fact be accomplished, given enough time to grieve, and enough energy and dedication to rebuild.
And then there's music. Personally, I don't remember finding solace in any of the songs written in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, although I guess the Charlie Daniels Band's "This Ain't No Rag It's a Flag" may have done it for somebody. But I can vouch for the value of one song that emerged from the ashes of the Waldo Canyon Fire, and that's local singer-songwriter Chuck Snow's "Whichever Way the Wind Blows."
If, like many of us, you've been holding back tears since the fires started, this will take care of that. It's a genuinely great song, poetically moving, as gracefully dignified as its subject matter warrants:
Heavenly light shine down on me
Down here it's too dark to see
My whole world is burning and I've only my soul
To carry me through whichever way the wind blows
I'm not exaggerating when I say this song can stand alongside Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's most moving ballads. You can judge for yourself by going to tinyurl.com/whicheverway. There you'll find the song and accompanying video, both of which were uploaded this past Saturday. You'll also find a link where you can purchase a download of the song for $1.29. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, which has taken in hundreds of pets during the course of this crisis.
Which brings us to our next item, namely "Community Rises," the wildfire relief benefit concert taking place tonight, July 4, at the World Arena. In addition to performances by the Fray frontman Isaac Slade, the Flying W Wranglers, Michael Martin Murphey and Flash Cadillac, the Indy-cosponsored event will include a segment with images by photographer Bryan Oller (who frequently shoots for this paper), set to the aforementioned Chuck Snow song.
While tickets were gone within 48 hours of the concert's announcement, you can still catch the simulcast on virtually every local media outlet, many of which will also be streaming the event live. Viewers and attendees will have the opportunity to make monetary donations to the Waldo Canyon Fire Victim Assistance Fund, while Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado will be on site, accepting food donations.
Meanwhile, for those of you who are ticketless but eager to get out of the house, there are numerous July 4 fundraisers for wildfire relief efforts around town: Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy will be performing with Grass It Up at a 7 p.m. Front Range Barbeque show. Bryant Jones, Ben Johnson, Vanessa White and Chuck Binkowski will be playing at Marika's starting at noon. And the "R&B and Hip-Hop for Hope" benefit featuring Kopesetik Soul, Musik Theory, Terrill Paul and Jordan Craft will take place at Stargazers beginning at 6:30.
And finally, just a quick reminder to get on over to csindy.com and cast your ballot for the Indy Music Awards between now and the July 13 cutoff. Winning acts will perform at this year's Indy Music Awards Festival in September, so make sure your favorites are among them.