On the first anniversary of the devastating tornado that tore through the heart of Nashville on March 3, 2020, Lydia Luce is announcing a virtual Lockeland Strings benefit show to commemorate the event.
Inspired by her own traumatic experience with the storm, Luce’s performance highlights the continued relief effort. The artist—who survived a near-fatal encounter followed by weeks of panic attacks—sustained significant damage to her home in East Nashville. This show is an effort to repay the love and support she received from her community in the wake of last year’s anguish.
Luce and the Lockeland Strings filmed the performance at the famed The Basement East. Destroyed by the same tornado and rebuilt, this venue serves as a beacon of hope as Music City begins its rise from the ashes.
“We have all experienced a crazy year, and so much has happened since the March 2020 tornado,” says Luce. “My home has been repaired, and I am able to live here again, but so many people cannot say the same and are reminded of the March 3 tornado daily. This show is to not only honor and remember our community that was affected but to raise money to help support those who still need our support.”
The performance includes footage of their East Nashville neighborhood that was hit by the storm. Evocative imagery serves as a sober reminder of the cleanup that is still needed and the damage that is still prevalent. Viewers of the free virtual show are encouraged to donate to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Proceeds will help provide relief to those who are still affected or displaced by the storm. The organization also provides funds needed to help with cleanup efforts for the remaining debris.
Performing with a string quartet alongside Nashville rising stars Becca Mancari, Kyshona Armstrong, and Larissa Maestro, Luce laments and rejoices with songs from her sophomore album, Dark River—released on February 26.
“There is no place quite like Nashville, and I am thankful to call it home,” says Mancari. “And yet people are still really struggling to make ends meet, and my hope is that we will continue to come together and hold each other close.”
Returning to The Basement East felt like a homecoming for these artists. After a year behind digital screens, performing on a stage so close to their hearts brought up unexpected emotions.
“I had no idea how affected I would be when I walked inside those doors,” Armstrong shares. “It felt like the story and spirit of East Nashville; a lil’ old mixed with a lil’ new, but still the same heart and grit when you look real close. Singing our most gentle songs inside a space that is still mending one year after the devastation felt like that warm hug we’ve all been needing.”
The show will also feature Maestro’s song performance, including string arrangements by Annaliese Kowert, Nicole Neely, Ben Plotnick, Kaitlyn Raitz, Jordan Lehning, and Maestro herself. The musicians are from the local organization Lockeland Strings, which Luce founded from a house show in her home.
Lockeland Strings aims to bring classical music to a younger audience, spotlight young string players, and encourage support for the singer-songwriter community, who rarely have access to string players.
Watch the Lockeland Strings Virtual Tornado Benefit Show here.