By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Musicians from Tupelo and across the state shared words of encouragement as well as songs at Band Together on Thursday.
The concert, which will aid disaster relief efforts from the April 28 EF3 tornado that hit Tupelo, Lee and Itawamba counties, was attended by hundreds in Fairpark and featured the likes of The Red Thangs, Chris Chew, Cary Hudson, Jimbo Mathus & Them Durty Crooks and Paul Thorn.
“We’re gonna band together and make it all right,” Mathus told the audience. “When they first asked me to do this, I said, ‘I’ll be there for Tupelo.’”
Hudson offered his good thoughts to the city in between songs about life in the Magnolia State.
“My heart goes out to you guys,” he said.
Hudson mentioned the weather, which was rainy and cloudy before the show started. The clouds eventually gave way to sunny skies and cool temperatures, and that helped welcome the crowd, said Jessica Hollinger with the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association.
“It’s been good so far,” she said about halfway through the event. “It looks like a good crowd.”
A total tally of the funds raised will be announced today.
Tupelo native Thorn kicked off the night with two songs off his new record, which is due in August, and they were filmed to promote the album.
“It’s unlike any record I’ve ever done. A lot of my songs tell stories, but these, no so much. They’re anthem songs,” he said. “These are like Americana Kool & the Gang.”
Thorn and his family fared well through the storm, but he said it’s painful to see his battered hometown and he was happy to perform at Band Together.
“Vanelli’s was where I got discovered,” he said of the damaged Tupelo restaurant. “This is my chance to do some good. This isn’t gonna change the world, but if everybody does something, it could. This could put shingles back on somebody’s roof.”