One of the many positives to come out of last year’s tragic floods in Nashville has been increased awareness of the music scene in the Music City beyond its iconic country-western genre. Among the artifacts salvaged from the flood, albeit in an unplayable state, was Ben’s touring piano, locked away in Soundcheck Nashville, a storage facility serving the Nashville musician community, while the rising waters of the Cumberland had their way. Now that the piano has been recovered and dismantled, Ben has autographed its keys, and they will be sold to benefit the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s annual campaign, which supports arts education in Nashville. (more…)
Ben reports that they are working on disassembling and cleaning the Baldwin piano that was destroyed in the Nashville flood (see separate item below). The piano was used in the recording of most of the tracks on Rocking the Suburbs and Songs for Silverman. Once disassembled, the parts will be sold on eBay to raise money for flood relief efforts.
Ben’s current hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, has been suffering from severe flooding due to recent heavy rainstorms and the wash of water coming from upstream on the Cumberland. Landmarks and historic buildings in the city’s entertainment district are flooded to the second story, as are thousands of commercial buildings and houses in the area. Ben reports he and Fleur and the kids and home are safe and dry. The studio is dry as well, but his storage area, with two grand pianos, is submerged. There is also a possibility that some historical Ben Folds Five recordings may be lost as well. He has been posting pictures via Twitpic (another) (another) in recent days.
Ben’s pictures are featured in an online collection on the National Geographic website, including some posted earlier via Twitter. Many were taken with his cell phone camera, others with digital cameras and some with a 6×7 format film camera, which he will develop and print after the tour is finished. Look for more of his work to be posted; when it is, we’ll have it here.
Equipment update: Ben finally heard from the warehouse about some of the equipment he had in storage in Nashville. He says one piano was condemned but the other is OK. Some amplifiers and keyboards were destroyed, but some cassettes survived. He’ll know more once he gets home and can have a look around. 2010-05-18
Relief efforts: Ben’s drummer, Sam Smith, is also a poster artist and has designed a poster which will be sold to raise funds toward the recovery effort. A musical event, Rebuild This City (With Rock and Roll), will be held Wednesday, May 5 at Mercy Lounge in Nashville to raise funds as well. More information on their Facebook page (Facebook login required to view). Sam’s poster can be seen and ordered online for $10 plus shipping. Mine arrived a few days ago, signed and numbered by Sam. (Note: posters are now sold out; if you got one, you’re lucky! And thanks for helping the relief effort.)