Tuesday, July 16, 2024

“Unplugged For Nashville” Charity Event Raises Over $70,000 With Performances By HARDY, Nate Smith, Alana Springsteen And More

On December 9, tornadoes struck Middle Tennessee, claiming the lives of six individuals and leading to the hospitalization of 83 others. Numerous businesses, residences, and community landmarks suffered extensive damage or were completely destroyed.

My hometown in Clarksville, Tennessee saw massive destruction and casualties from the tornadoes so when I heard about the benefit concert last night to support the victims of the tragedy I was happy to have the opportunity to support the cause and cover the event with photos.

The concert event was produced in a matter of days by Media Farm Agency, the management team behind the @NashvilleTN Instagram and was hosted by country music industry veteran, Benji Chord. 

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Music City’s tornado relief concert called, “Unplugged for Tennessee,” gave 100% of the event’s proceeds to charities Red Cross Tennessee and Hands On Nashville, organizations helping to lead the disaster response initiatives.

Matt Wilson, Media Farm Agency Founder, explained how he and his team were able to organize the event so quickly, just days after the tragic severe weather outbreak. 

“This benefit came together extremely fast, thanks to the help of our team and our great friends that wanted to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by the storm. We are so thankful for the artists who volunteered so quickly to help and donate their time and talent for such a worthy cause.” Wilson also explained why they chose the beneficiaries for the concert. “Being prepared is key when something like this happens, so we chose to benefit Hands on Nashville and The American Red Cross, who are leaders in disaster response in Middle Tennessee.”

The event featured country artists: HARDY, Nate Smith, Alana Springsteen, Dylan Marlowe, Chayce Beckham, Abby Anderson, Trey Lewis, Graham Barham, Payton Smith, Jay Allen and more.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Support for the event was huge with a sellout in an hour after the show was announced. The event took place at the Exit/In where the singers took the stage to a packed standing room only room.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The concert was setup in a series of rounds where artists performed solo and in groups with acoustic versions of their hits and other classic songs that they loved.

Kylie Morgan and Jay Allen Kicked Off The Night of Music With Emotional Tributes

Husband and wife Jay Allen and Kylie Morgan took the stage first to get the night kicked off. The Voice alum Jay Allen started the show with a Matchbox Twenty cover “Unwell” and also played “No Time Like The Present” and “Jell-O Shot.”

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In an emotional moment Morgan spoke about losing her childhood home to a tornado in Oklahoma. She said, “When I was 17 years old, I lost my childhood home in a tornado in Oklahoma,” Morgan explained. “And no-one knows this feeling more than I do, because it’s so publicized in the media at the moment, but as soon as other media happens, it just kinda goes away and people forget that people are still in need.”

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Morgan the sang a song she wrote 10 years ago about the experience called “Heartland” as a tribute to the victims of the tragedy.

Rising Country Stars Take The Stage

Next up four rising country artists took the stage including: Abby Anderson, Graham Barham, Payton Smith, and Trey Lewis.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Payton Smith, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter hailing from Louisiana, paid tribute to 90’s country playing his song “’92,” with crisp, precise guitar skills and foot stomping dance moves from his seat. This was my first time seeing Smith live and I am now adding him to the daily playlist.

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Graham Barham played “Break It In A Bar”, “God On The Radio” and unreleased new song and “Beer By My Bed” onstage.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Trey Lewis performed “3 Feet Tall,” which he co-wrote and was recently released by Cole Swindell, while Abby Anderson delivered a poignant cover of Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” Abby also played one my newest favorite country songs “Heart On Fire In Mexico.”

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Nate Smith Pays Celebrates His Number 1 Hit And Pays Tribute to Nirvana

Taking the stage solo in all black, Nate Smith showcased his distinctive style on tracks like “Whiskey on You” and “World on Fire.” Smith is currently celebrating the number one song on country radio with “World on Fire” so it was a treat to see him perform it live on stage.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Expressing his joy over the current evolving, nontraditional landscape of country music that allows artists to embrace diverse influences, Smith emphasized his deep connection to grunge music, citing Nirvana as his absolute favorite band before singing a gritty rendition of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.”

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Smith also reflected on his own personal tragedy with natural disasters and said, “I definitely understand what it’s like to lose everything and have to start over again. That happened to me a few years ago in Paradise, California.” Smith detailed his personal experience with natural disasters, discussing how he was affected by the Camp Fire in 2018, one of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires to ever hit California.

“I lost my house, guitars and all my baby toys and things that I cherished. A lot of people passed away in that fire,” he said. “I found out about this amazing event and I just had to be here to support this. I love this town so much.”

HARDY Gets Emotional And Discusses Mental Health

HARDY took the stage in a Deftones shirt and kicked six-song set started with the rowdy “Truck Bed” and concluded with “God’s Country,” a song he co-wrote that was recorded by Blake Shelton.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

“As somebody who recently is going through some trauma, and I’m not even comparing myself even close to this, but it was the first time in my life last year with the bus wreck that I went through some shit that I really… since then, when I’ve witnessed trauma and I see people go through the most traumatic events in their life, my heart breaks for those people for the first time truly in my life,” HARDY admitted to the crowd.

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

“And it’s important to help people and lift people up and get involved in your community and all that shit. So if you’ve got five bucks or a dollar or whatever you have to spare, please donate. My wife and I have donated and every little bit helps. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Nobody’s making me say this, but it is true. Anything that can help these people, it goes a long way.”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

HARDY went on to say “It’s pretty crazy that things like this can actually take a life, and it’s terrifying, and so I just want to dedicate this next song to anybody that has experienced any trauma from either that specific storm or any other trauma from anything,” HARDY said before performing “Give Heaven Some Hell.” He added, “If you’ve ever lost somebody, I want you to know for the next three and a half minutes that I’m thinking about you, I love you, and I wrote this song for you.”

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

A die-hard HARDY fan in the audience basically setup the setlist as she yelled out hit songs for him to try out acoustic during the set including which he was a little reluctant to try acoustic for the first time but ended up being a highlight of the set.

Chase Matthew, Alana Springsteen, Chayce Beckham, and Dylan Marlowe Close Out The Night

As a Nashville native, Chase Matthew felt deeply impacted by the tragedy that hit his hometown. “I have a lot of friends and family directly affected by this.” he stated as he opened up the last set of performances. Matthew also shared that he just learned that he will be opening for Jason Aldean next year, playing a quick snippet of Aldean’s “She’s Country” as part of his set. Definitely arrive early to see him if you head out to the Jason Aldean shows.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Alana Springsteen came straight from her solo tour to support the cause. She reflected on writing about bad breakups in “You Don’t Deserve A Country Song” and gave a standout performance of “Amen.” She closed out her trio of songs with her latest song moving up the country charts “Goodbye Looks Good On You.” 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

American Idol winner Chase Beckham treated the crowd to a preview of his new song “Something Worth Holding On To,” which he shared will appear on an upcoming album.

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Dylan Marlowe cited being sick this week for a weaker than normal voice but he sounded great as he sang his own tunes “I’ll Keep The Country” and latest hit on country radio with Dylan Scott “Boys Back Home.” In addition to his own tunes, Marlowe also performed “Last Night Lonely,” recorded by Jon Pardi.

Unplugged For Nashville
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

$70,000 Raised for Charity and Tornado Victims

During the show it was announce that Country superstar and philanthropist Tracy Lawrence was unable to attend Unplugged for Tennessee in person, but he sent a $15,000 check on behalf of his non-profit organization Mission: Possible to Unplugged for Tennessee. In addition to Lawrence, NHL player Matt Deushane also donated $10,000 to the cause. Overall the show raised over $70,000 for charity through ticket sales, donations, and live auctions to support the victims of the tornadoes. Gibson guitar donated a guitar that all the artists signed that sold for $1800. Music City really came together for the good cause.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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