Emily West, The Young Fables and More Singing to Benefit MusiCares

On Thursday, December 17, more than a dozen Nashville acts will come together to perform a program of Christmas music in an online production designed to raise money for MusiCares. MusiCares is the philanthropic organization supported by the Recording Academy (the Grammy organization) which provides money and services to musicians in an emergency or crisis, like the current Covid19 pandemic which has put so many musicians out of work. Called “A One Mic Christmas,” the streamed event will feature over a dozen Nashville acts performing Christmas-themed music.

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Produced by Patryk Larney at Hope Tree Entertainment and Jeremy Ryan at Cotton Mill Live, the event will feature Maggie Rose, Jason Eskridge, Bre Kennedy, Meghan Linsey, Liz Longley, Brooks Hubbard, Damien Horne, Ty Herndon, The Young Fables, Louis York, Miss Jackie Wilson, Emily West, Crystal Lewis, Sarah Potenza, and the Shindellas. Larney explained to American Songwriter via telephone from his Nashville office how the event came to be.

“Every year I produce a music festival in New Jersey,” he said, “and this year we couldn’t do it, so I decided to put together this Christmas special and to do it as a benefit, and when we started talking to all the artists it turned out that some of them had received aid this year from MusiCares. So we decided to do this as a benefit to raise money for MusiCares, and everybody was immediately on board.”

Since it wouldn’t be feasible right now for the acts to follow each other onto a live stage, they had to pre-record their performances, with all of them working on a stage setup that Ryan designed. “Jeremy built this wonderful set design since we couldn’t safely put all these artists under the same roof at the same time,” Larney said. “We brought everybody in one act at a time, and everything is one pre-recorded television special, if you will.” All of the artists currently live in Nashville but most are originally from somewhere else, and Larney said that the show “touches every corner of the country.”

Genre-defying singer Emily West said she didn’t hesitate to say “yes” when asked if she’d like to participate. “MusiCares, they’ve been angels working with artists and I just think it’s a wonderful non-profit,” she said. “Anything I can do to give back to MusiCares, I’m down. They’re offering a lot of help for Covid, giving grants to musicians that have been out of work for some time, so this is gonna be really cool, I’m excited for it. Some of my favorite singer-songwriters are going to be playing as well so it’s a wonderful bill.” West will be singing “O Holy Night” and “I Wish Every Day Was Like Christmas” by Elvis Presley.

Laurel Wright, of modern traditional country duo The Young Fables, said that she and partner Wes Lunsford were excited to be part of the project. “We really love MusiCares,” she said, “they have helped out a ton of artists. This is obviously a real cool thing to be part of and we’re honored because there are so many other incredible artists involved. Touring is not really a thing right now, so getting dressed up and being able to perform a couple songs with a bunch of our friends is super fun. We’re performing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ because Wes and I have been singing that one for years, it really shows who we are. And we’re doing ‘OMG, It’s December,’ a funny silly song that we wrote a couple years ago.”

The show will be broadcast online December 17 beginning at 7 p.m. CT at onemicchristmas.com. Larney explained how the show will benefit the charitable organization for years to come.

“Originally this was going to be a ticketed event,” he said, “but we had sponsors come in early enough that we covered our production costs, so now we’re going to run it telethon-style where it’ll be free to the public at onemicchristmas.com. We’re basically encouraging people to make a donation to MusiCares, and we’re going to leave it online so that it can continue to raise money for them in the future.”

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