Oregon blues musicians band together to help prevent suicide
The pandemic greatly affected many businesses that had to temporarily close or close forever. One industry that was particularly affected was the restaurant industry. This included bars, restaurants and venues that offer live music. But the businesses weren't the only casualties. The people who frequented these establishments had built up a sense of community with the musicians and the staff.
The industry went from filling seats to no seats at all, and everybody involved has felt a sense of loss and loneliness.
"Musicians have always known that their music offers people who are suffering a chance to heal," said Rae Gordon, Hall of Fame Muddy Winner, songwriter and singer. "The connections made with others in the audience and the musicians help those in need leave their troubles behind, even for a day. Sometimes a day is all that is needed to turn somebody around."
Because of this, local award-winning blues musicians recently got together to write a song to people who have had thoughts of suicide, especially during these hard times. Gordon wanted to donate it to the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Clackamas to help them in their programs and outreach, especially to those with depression and suicidal thoughts. She got acquainted with this grassroots organization when she took their family-to-family class. She also was passionate about this song and bringing it to life because she personally struggled as a teen with suicidal thoughts and knows how important outreach and hope is, and how one more day can make all the difference.
Gordon wrote the lyrics and came up with the melody. Pat McDougall wrote the bridge and bridge lyrics. The song encourages somebody who is actively considering suicide to keep their head above water and to give us one more day. She reached out to singer/songwriter Ben Rice to help bring the song to life.
Blues Music Award winner Lisa Mann, along with Kivett Bednar, Ben Partain and Ed Rice, continued to craft the song in the studio of Blues Music Award Winner and engineer Jimi Bott at Roseleaf Studios. Joe McCarthy added the horn arrangements with Scott Franklin. Other local greats LaRhonda Steele and Ken DeRouchie added their background vocals with Mann.
It has been a quick labor of love for these musicians, who Gordon asked because of how and what they do in the community to make a difference. Gordon knew that they see how many are suffering due to not having the music community in full swing.
The project has been coordinated by Kristin Boden with contributions by Rob and Kary Gaskill, who have personally inspired Gordon with their support and understanding.
In conjunction with National Alliance on Mental Illness-Clackamas and with the help of Gary Marshke, outreach and development coordinator for NAMI Clackamas, the song "It Will Not Last" will premiere at St. Josef's Winery in Canby from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 24.
Vino, Vocals & Vax will be a celebration of music on a hopefully nice summer day in a unique setting.
Three acts that include musicians who were involved in bringing the song to life will perform. Mann will play first, then Tall Static with McDougall and the Rae Gordon Band.
In supporting the Oregon Health Authority, there will also be free vaccinations available for those who have not yet received theirs and want to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
There will also be wine and wine tasting from St. Josef's Winery and food available for purchase. Admission is free to the event; special seating in the pond amphitheater is $20, which includes a CD with "It Will Not Last." CDs will be available for purchase on site. All proceeds from the song recording, both in CD form and for download, go to NAMI-Clackamas. To receive a download (after Saturday, July 24), go to www.raegordon.com.
Vino, Vocals & Vax
St. Josef's Winery is at 28836 S Barlow Road, Canby. Children are welcome, but no pets. To learn more about the winery, visit www.stjosefswinery.com.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, go to https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19.
There will also be people on site to privately talk to anybody who may be struggling themselves.
For more information on NAMI-Clackamas, to volunteer or receive help, go to www.namicc.org.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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