By Steve Wiseman

A number of rock legends and some newer artists are contributing exclusive tracks (and a couple of other cool items) to help fund relief efforts in the south Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief will feature tracks from Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Eric Burdon of The Animals, ELO’s Jeff Lynne, and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, among others.

Ringo is contributing a live version of “Wings” recorded on his latest All-Starr Band tour. Walsh’s track is a new live version of “Rocky Mountain Way,” featuring Starr on drums.

Lynne’s contribution is a new version of a song he’d written decades ago. In a statement, he said, “This is a brand new electric version of ‘Save Me Now,’ a song I wrote 22 years ago about this very subject — global warming and the need to listen and be kind to our planet. I wanted to contribute to Songs After Sandy because I feel terrible about what happened, and my heart goes out to all of the people still stuck in it and trying to work through it.”

Burdon’s song, “Tishomingo Blues,” was originally intended for his next album, but will probably be exclusive to this collection.  And Weir did a version of the Grateful Dead’s “Brown Eyed Woman” with singer/songwriter (and former D-Generation frontman) Jesse Malin. There will be two more volumes of Songs After Sandy, which will include tracks by former Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson and thenewno2 (the band featuring Dhani Harrison, son of George).

Songs After Sandy: Friends of Red Hook For Sandy Relief is being sponsored by the non-profit organization Green Ground Zero, which was founded to help communities rebuild after disasters. As the name infers, the organization also advocates for “green restoration” to create a more sustainable environment. All proceeds from this project will go to Restore Red Hook, Red Hook Initiative, Occupy Sandy, specifically the “Wedding Register” they maintain where they detail items needed in specific communities, and Green Ground Zero.

For the next 90 days, the songs will be available for download at PledgeMusic; after that, they will be available at the Songs After Sandy website. The site will also sell some other donated items, including (very notably), an autographed used drum head from Ringo Starr, who has offered to personalize it for the buyer (although he has long since made it clear that he no longer signs autographs, he has apparently made an exception for this cause), tickets and “meet and greet” packages for two upcoming Roger Hodgson shows, among other offers.

Starr commented, “I want to thank everyone for what they are doing this is how ‘Peace & Love’ works. Well done, Green Ground Zero, Occupy Sandy and Restore Red Hook.” Hodgson quoted one of his most famous songs, adding, “I applaud all the ways that people are coming together to ‘give a little bit’ to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy. Tragedy brings out the true heart of a people and I’m proud to see so much care pouring forth in so many different ways. I am glad to offer these concert tickets and backstage experience to raise funds for Red Hook and other communities.”

Brian Ives, CBS Local 


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