Currier’s Music World and WoodSongs Collect Instruments for Tornado Victims | News

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Currier’s Music World of Richmond has partnered with WoodSong’s Old Time Radio Hour to provide instruments for victims of last weekend’s devastating tornadoes.

According to the organizers, anyone (this could be a school that lost instruments in the damage or just musicians or bands) in any of the six states that lost an instrument during the storm can contact WoodSong by email. at [email protected] set up to get a replacement. Organizers said to make sure “tornado” is in the subject line of the email.

Anyone wishing to donate instruments to storm victims can contact WoodSongs by the same method. Currier’s will function as a storage and distribution center for all instruments donated to WoodSongs. Once the instruments have been inspected and touched up, they will be shipped from the music store to their new owner.

WoodSong’s Old Time Radio Hour is a broadcast nationwide from Lexington. It airs on PBS, over 500 radio stations nationwide, and a wide variety of other shows and media. Performed in front of a live audience, WoodSong’s is a celebration of what host and folk musician Michael Jonathon calls “popular music.”

Run entirely by volunteers, the series has built a network of fans and supporters across the country, which Jonathon called on to donate to victims of historically destructive tornadoes. He said Governor Andy Beshear had inspired him to help.

“The governor’s emotional connection made me want to do something. I can’t rebuild a brick house and I can’t restore a water pipe, but I can help the musicians bring the emotion back to life again. of life by providing them with their instruments, ”Jonathon said.

The folk singer needed a partner for this business – someone with the space to store the instruments, but also the expertise to take care of them properly. From the start, he knew there was only one person for the job.

“The only person on planet Earth who I will allow to touch my beloved Martin guitar, is Cathy Currier. I trust her implicitly. She is brilliant at what she does,” Jonathon said, of Cathy. Currier, co-owner and director of Currier’s Music World. .

Currier’s has been in operation since 1967, originally a record store, the Richmond Pillar now serves as an instrument and prop store as well as a repair shop and classroom. Cathy Currier has earned a reputation as one of the best luthiers in the state. It even has prestigious certification, as Currier’s is one of five CF Martin and Co. approved guitar repair centers in Kentucky.

“Michael needed someone who could look at the instruments and see if they were worth doing something that I have that expertise with. He also needed someone who had a physical location, and I have the space. I have a 4,000 square foot basement that we can fill up as much as we need and then Michael’s people can come and get them and take them to western Kentucky, ” Currier said.

Currier and a group of WoodSongs volunteers will have several sessions to adjust, clean and repair donated instruments. After this process, they will be stored in the basement of Currier’s Music World until they are shipped to their final destination.

However, Currier said anyone wishing to donate a harmonica will have to donate a new one due to the safety of COVID-19. According to her, harmonicas are extremely difficult to disinfect once they have been played. She also stated that she would not accept any instrument damaged beyond the point of repair or too old to play.

In addition to her repair skills, Currier is also a longtime musician. She is an avid singer, keyboardist, pianist and ukulele player. The decision to help the victims of the tornado was an easy one, as Currier knows more than anyone about the power of music.

“Unless you’ve ever known someone who is a real musician who wants to practice six to eight hours a day and that’s what gives them their peace and soul, you just don’t know how it’s hard not to play music, ”Currier said. “I’m sure there are families who have lost everything and a musical instrument is not what you would call a priority. But music is there to keep the kids happy. Music is important. I gonna help with that anyway I can. We’ll take the time, we’ll work late. We’ll do what we have to do.

Jonathon said WoodSongs has already been contacted by several people hoping to send donations, including a banjo from a donor from Indiana and a brand new Martin guitar from someone from Illinois. Ukuleles, trumpets, mandolins, drums and more will also soon be directed to tornado victims.

From now on, the plan is to collect and distribute the donated instruments for the next few months. In order not to hamper first responders providing aid to affected areas, donated instruments will not leave Currier’s until at least mid-January. Although he recognizes that food and water come first, Jonathon relied on Winston Churchill to describe the importance of music and art in times of turmoil.

“At the height of World War II, a reporter asked Winston Churchill if he was going to remove the arts and music from the government budget to pay for the war effort. And he looked at the reporter and bellowed, ‘So what is it we are fighting for? ‘ At the time of pain, stress and pain, all musicians in the world turn to their instrument. And these musicians don’t have them anymore. I agree with Winston Churchill. That’s what we’re doing this for, ”Jonathon said.

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