Indie label MPress Records will bring together its artists for a virtual concert to raise money for The Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund, which supports musicians and music industry workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Given the lockdown in place, touring musicians have had all shows cancelled, leaving them with no means of support.
The MPressFest Virtual Concert takes place at 4 p.m. (EST) on April 25, and features MPress artists Rachael Sage, Seth Glier, Dom & Sean Kelly and Grace Pettis. The event will simulcast on both the MPress Records Facebook page and YouTube channel.
“Through the years, MPressFest has taken on many forms, including showcases at SXSW, Folk Alliance and CMJ,” says Sage. “When all of this began, and our roster was suddenly unable to tour, let alone collaborate with bandmates, it seemed like such a vital thing to do — to get all our artists on one virtual ‘bill’ to help fundraise for a worthy cause.
“I’m excited to see and hear everyone, not only because I miss my labelmates, but because I know that we’re all very much up to the challenge of using music to heal and uplift, during this very challenging time.”
MPress Records was founded more than 20 years ago in New York by Sage, who recently toured with Howard Jones in support of her latest album, Character, an emotive and beautiful collection of songs.
During the pandemic, she has, like many of us, had to shelter in place and improvise her work activities.
“Unfortunately, I have been unable to go to home to NYC during this time, so I have been doing my very best to enlist all my ‘special skills’ to keep my spirits up, and hopefully others’ in the process, as well!” she said.
She added, “Every week I’m doing ‘Stay In With Sage’ livestreams on my Facebook, where I alternate between sharing poems, music from my new album Character and, of course, new music inspired by this collective experience we are going through as a human race.
“One of the songs that’s been connecting most with listeners is ‘Blue Sky Days,” because of its hopeful lyric, which emphasizes the temporary nature of suffering. It’s always humbling when a song connects with people in a way you don’t anticipate, and even though I wrote it about my recent recovery from cancer, I’ve been happy to see ‘Blue Sky Days’ take on a very different meaning during this time.”
Sage has collaborated with Judy Collins and Ani DiFranco and raised funds for various nonprofits, including WhyHunger, God’s Love We Deliver and Girls, Inc.
The label has released 14 albums by Sage, as well as material by Glier, Pettis, A Fragile Tomorrow, Melissa Ferrick and K’s Choice.
Here is Sage’s “Blue Sky Days”:
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