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Top Artists Converge "Downstream" for Tennessee Riverkeeper

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The premier of Downstream a virtual concert benefiting the Tennessee Riverkeeper was aired on February 27, 2021. Various entertainers and musicians, many who call the watershed home participated in this event to raise awareness and funds for the Tennessee Riverkeeper.

Top Artists Converge Downstream for Tennessee Riverkeeper

The Tennessee Riverkeeper is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to protect the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and their tributaries by enforcing environmental laws, educating the public and trash removal. This nonprofit organization was founded by David Whiteside in 2009. Some of their accomplishments include the removal of over 30,000 pounds of aquatic litter (mostly plastic) since 2018, habitat preservation for the endangered spring pygmy sunfish and ongoing investigations of pollution permits to insure compliance. The Tennessee Riverkeeper works with the communities that they serve to hold polluters accountable, demand justice and restore all of our inalienable rights to clean water.

The band Moon Taxi open and closed the concert with performances at what appeared to be the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville. They presented a new track "Above Water" that was both peppy and pleasing. Next, Chris Janson played the obvious good choice of "Buy Me A Boat". Chris mentioned that he lives near a river and is an active member of the Tennessee Riverkeeper. He suggested that folks could do their part by simply picking up trash. John Carter Cash armed with an acoustic guitar along with his son Joe on mandolin did a parody of Johnny Cash's "Five Feet High and Rising" inserting the word pollution to make their point. Ana Cash joined John for "Keep On The Sunny Side" a song that was often performed by the Carter family.

Claire Lynch covered the reflective "Come and Sit By The River" followed by Mac McAnally who talked about how the Tennessee River has influenced his music before singing "It's My Job" reminding people to do their best. The Players Club were funky and Adam Hurt played a beguiling instrumental on the banjo. Patterson Hood chatted about the importance of the river in Muscle Shoals before playing a water song from his old band Adam's House Cat. We are afraid to report that Jason Isbell's full band performance of "Be Afraid" had some technical issues but otherwise the virtual concert ran smoothly. Advise such as carry a water bottle rather than plastic and please give were mixed in with the music.

"Take care of the planet and the planet will take care of us" declared Michael Franti during his animated two song set that include "Stay Human" a tune about our shared humanity. Brett Eldredge and John Oates were two superstars who added their voices to the cause. Particle Kid creatively shared "The Ocean" sponsored by water - its life for his video. Chris Tompkins sitting at the piano did a medley of his material while talking about growing up in the Muscle Shoals area as he thanked the Riverkeepers for the work that they do. Lyle Lovett played a tune and shared that he has been a longtime supporter. Jackson Browne along with Valentine McCallun performed a poignant "Before The Deluge". Then, Trevor of Moon Taxi mentioned that he has pulled tires from the river and its dirty work before his group wrapped up the show.

The efforts of the Tennessee Riverkeeper are vital to the health and safety of the millions of people (and animals) that live in the Tennessee River and Cumberland River watersheds - so if you are able please make a donation to this organization and enjoy the replay of Downstream.

Top Artists Converge Downstream for Tennessee Riverkeeper
Many of the evening's performers have previously played in Nashville!

Related Links: For more information on TENNESSEE RIVERKEEPER and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Tennessee Riverkeeper | Watch "Downstream"


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