Major Artists Step up to Combat Fracking Through Music

"These days images of our planet are so common that we often overlook how precious and beautiful it is. I wrote this song as a reminder of the importance of all of us being stewards of our planet, keeping it healthy for the next generations". - Michael Franti
“These days images of our planet are so common that we often overlook how precious and beautiful it is. I wrote this song as a reminder of the importance of all of us being stewards of our planet, keeping it healthy for the next generations”. – Michael Franti

With all the protects against Shell that have happened in and around Seattle lately, including a concert on the Solar Pioneer last week, we think this album and topic is totally relevant to people around here. One thing for sure, it is packed with talented performers who care about the planet and the people on it.

With hydro-fracking all over the new in recent weeks  in the news – including a New York Times article that ran recently warning of “fracking chemicals detected in Pennsylvania drink water” – and an EPA report that goes against what the bulk of the country believes, the release of this 24 track, two disc benefit compilation, ‘Buy This Fracking Album’ June 23rd, is more timely than ever.

The album, which is raising awareness of the dangers of fracking and features music from artists like John Butler Trio, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Franti, Indigo Girls – as well as the last-known recording of the late Pete Seeger – has raised more than $60,000 dollars on crowd-funding site Pledge Music. Pre-order album HERE

Album proceeds will go towards Marcellus Protest, a non profit organization in Pennsylvania, and other grassroots organizations around the country working to ban fracking corporations. Michael Franti says he wrote “Earth From Outer Space,” “as a reminder of the importance of all of us being stewards of our planet, keeping it healthy for the next generations” and Bonnie Raitt – a founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy – added, “banning fracking everywhere is one of the most critical environmental issues of our time because it destroys our water, our communities and our planet.”

As Rusted Root‘s Michael Glabicki explains, banning fracking is “not a matter of politics or money – it’s just a matter of common sense that you don’t destroy the earth like fracking does.”

For many of the artists on the album, their musical contributions serve as a “way to voice unequivocal opposition to fracking” (Indigo Girls) and “lend [their] voices to a cause that champions the health of our community” (Mike + Ruthy). The bottom line and reason that ‘Buy This Fracking Album’ is arriving at such a critical time is that – in the words of Natalie Merchant – “our resources are at stake; this is going to fracture and destroy our communities.”

“They get the gas and they leave the chemicals down there. It gets into our rivers and streams, and into our drinking water. We say “no fracking way,” explained the late Pete Seeger of the flawed natural gas extraction method and his anti-fracking motto.

Bonnie Raitt - Photo credit to Shorefire Media
Bonnie Raitt – Photo credit to Shorefire Media

“One of the most critical environmental issues of our time is banning fracking everywhere because it destroys our water, our communities and our planet.” – Bonnie Raitt

To celebrate the release, ‘Buy This Fracking Album’ producer Jason Samel of Movement Music Records has organized a special event at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue) on Tuesday, June 23rd. Joined by special guest Amy Helm, “Buy This Fracking Album” contributors Marco Benevento & Dave Dreiwitz, Michael Glabicki, DJ Logic, Kristen Graves, and The Mike + Ruthy Band will come together to perform original songs written and recorded exclusively for the compilation, as well as classic songs that speak to the theme of environmental awareness.

“We can’t drink money, and we can’t drink natural gas.” – Justin Sane of Anti Flag

The project’s producer, Jason Samel graduated from the University of Stony Brook and began his career in the sales field. His last “job” was for a major publicly traded corporation. Samel took on the role of “the voice of transparency” within this company, which was not always common practice. When asked to withhold further information from the public, he chose to side with his conscience and leave his position behind him.

An outspoken individual, Samel’s ingress into activism sparked from his interest in the revolution in Egypt. He felt energized and inspired by these events and – as he always did – turned to writing poetry and music to express his thoughts. He released the first track he produced, “Tahrir Revolution,” on YouTube which has garnered nearly 70,000 views to date. To have an impact on the conversation from a distance, Samel created a website – www.musicforrevolution.com – which curated creative expressions inspired by the revolutions springing up around the world. The website proved valuable because it offered artists support and encouragement, and provided them with inspiration to continue to create.

The clear value of this website motivated Samel to duplicate this tool for other causes and to become directly involved with issues taking form outside his back door in New York City. He was a regular at Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street movement, where he personally connected with artists at the forefront of the protests’ creative expression. This led him to create a fiscally sponsored non-profit, Music For Occupy.

After continuing to build websites for creative expression surrounding specific causes, Samel sought to create further opportunities for artists who believe that socially conscious music – or “Movement Music” – should be seen and heard so that its message can infiltrate media and society. This led Samel to produce his first album, “Occupy This Album,” which brought further awareness to the movement at a time when it seemed vacant from the public eye. This project won the Independent Music Award for Best Compilation.

Immediately following his first release, Samel began producing numerous other projects including Seeger Fest, the Hurricane Sandy Hip Hop Relief Concert at Brooklyn Bowl, David Amram’s 84th Birthday Concert, and the forthcoming release, ‘Buy This Fracking Album.’

In just four years, Samel has collaborated as a producer with a long list of incredible artists including Yoko Ono, Jane’s Addiction, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, Michael Franti, Tom Morello, Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Crosby and Nash, John Butler Trio, Indigo Girls, Blondie, Thievery Corporation, Warren Haynes, Third Eye Blind, Michael Moore, Amanda Palmer, Rusted Root, Ani DiFranco, Anti-Flag, Dar Williams, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Our Lady Peace, and his idol – the late, great Pete Seeger.

Learn more about the project at the following links:

http://www.MovementMusicRecords.com
http://www.pledgemusic.com/buythisfrackingalbum
http://www.facebook.com/movementmusicrecords
http://www.twitter.com/movemusicrecord
https://www.facebook.com/BuyThisFrackingAlbum
http://www.twitter.com/frackingalbum
http://www.jasonsamel.com
www.youtube.com/MusicForOccupy


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