Last week on the Chain Gang I was introduced by Sean Hannam to Matt Hill, and his album ‘Return of the Idle Drones’. This is available exclusively via Hill’s Bandcamp page. Like many of the artists we feature on AUK he has found Bandcamp to be the best way to make a little money from his music.
It’s easy to disappear down the browsing rabbit hole on Bandcamp for hours at a time. And when looing at Matt Hill’s albums I discovered that the number one Americana album on Bandcamp is ‘Songs From Quarantine Vol. 2’. This is a benefit for the Music Health Alliance a non-profit based in Nashville that is “music’s resource for healthcare solutions and access”. Healthcare in the USA is expensive to levels that those of us privileged to live with the NHS can’t begin to comprehend. With many of our favourites getting older and often not having large royalty cheques to cushion the blow, some sort of support for American musicians in getting treatment is essential, especially where their main sources of income have been cut off due to the Pandemic.
The album was coordinated by Rodney Crowell, and he has enlisted pals such as Guy Clark, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Shelby Lynne to donate songs that make up an album that is a really good compilation of some of the best names in Americana. Crowell says of it: “Songs From Quarantine Volume 1 was a sweet success and we have equally high hopes for Volume 2. Once again all proceeds go to the not-for-profit Music Health Alliance, whose ever-ready staff continues to serve our nationwide music community’s health related needs.”
There aren’t any videos of the songs on the album to share, as you might expect. They want you to buy them for the cause. But Rodney Crowell recorded ‘Something Has To Change’ on his 2021 album ‘Triage‘, and this addresses many of the issues that make the Music Health Alliance a necessary thing. You can buy ‘Songs From Quarantine Vol 2’ here and perhaps give a little thought to the inequality that leaves many musicians needing charity to receive treatment for physical and mental illnesses.