I love all music…well, I’ll give all music a chance and then I’ll decide what I love. But there are two things I feel very strongly about. The first, supporting local musicians or bands who travel a thousand miles in a van that’s about to fall apart just to play for one night. The second, giving back- doing something for the greater good and not for yourself. When I pitch events for Philadelphia Weekly, I always try to look for something involving charities or non profits.
If you’ve read a lot of the articles I wrote for That Mag/Origivation before I was trusted with this new editor job, you’ll know that I’m madly in love with Celtic/Folk music and I’m always running off to Irish and Scottish festivals to spend a weekend in a kilt. Last year, at the area’s largest and greatest festival (The Midwinter Scottish and Irish Festival ), I got to know Debbi Shaffer. She’s from Virginia but travels all over to support musicians and festivals. We had crossed paths a bunch of times before, but when the power went out at this festival for a few hours and she begged for some of the coffee I was able to get a hold of before chaos began, we became friends.
Debbi is a co-founder of Audacious Divas, a team who raises money for breast cancer research and awareness. So far, they’ve raised over $40,000, an amazing amount. But Debbi wanted to do something more and she called on all of our friends in the various bands we’ve met over the years to help out.
Celtic Pink Ribbon is a multi-disc compilation album that will be released this month. There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of some of these bands- many play in this area and travel an incredible distance to get here. Albannach comes from Scotland, Brother from the West Coast, Searson, Enter the Haggis and The Glengarry Bhoys from Canada. Scythian plays around here, a lot, too. Look at the list below…I know everyone reading this must have seen one of these bands before. And one is more than enough of a reason to pick up this awesome soundtrack for a cure.
The idea was born while Debbi was selling merchandise for Seven Nations, another band who shows up in the Philadelphia area many times a year. She ran her idea by one of the band members.
“He was very supportive and encouraging. I know quite a few of the bands, so I started with who I knew and branched out from there. I traveled to a dozen different festivals last year talking to different bands about the project and the support was overwhelming. Every band I approached wanted to participate . The difficult part was deciding on the songs, getting the files and legal releases together.”
I know that a lot of That Mag’s followers aren’t necessarily into this type of music, but if you’re willing to take a chance and listen to some of these artists, this CD set is a great start. You’ll be surprised. I was, too, ten years ago when I accidentally met Brother at a bookstore performance. And if it weren’t for that run in, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I would not be your editor at this magazine. There are a hundred or more bands I got to know and experience because of that one bookstore visit. Broaden your tastes and experiences in music. Do it now by taking a listen and reaching out to help cure something. You’ll feel good…after all, Valentine’s Day is coming up and whether you have someone to share the day with or not, it’s still a great time to spread some love.
Thanks for all your hard work, Debbi. More people should take a chance like you did. See ya at Midwinter! And if someone who regularly follows this blog happens to like what they hear, make sure you introduce yourself to Debbi and I at the festival in March! A few of the bands on the CD will be playing there.