From One Community to Another

From One Community to Another

  • Article by: Jamie McCormick, Photo by: Jamie McCormick
  • Posted: 12/06/2011

Mothers, brothers, fathers, and daughters — more than 30 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS today. The health risks, complications, and expenses alone can be economically devastating, but in many regions, HIV positive individuals also face social and political consequences that can make life unlivable. Although HIV is incurable, its symptoms can be managed, allowing positive individuals to continue leading happy, productive lives, and Blood:Water Mission aims to bring that knowledge to every village affected by the epidemic.

On World Aids Day, Dec. 1, from a community of artists to a community of activists, Nashville fought back against AIDS. Coupling Blood:Water Mission's Turn It Red campaign with a line-up of stellar Brite artists, the Nashville music community raised funds to revolutionize the medical and education treatment of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Brite's Revolutionary Revue at The Rutledge, featured four acts onstage, plus plenty of offstage entertainment options, such as a photo booth, free Corsair and Yazoo drinks, handmade Christmas ornaments from African AIDS sufferers, and Chirp onsite T-shirt printing.

During breaks in the music, Blood:Water Mission screened three short videos, sharing the stories of people whose lives have been changed when a little bit of knowledge and education met their own personal stores of courage. These uplifting videos showed how Blood:Water Mission works within families and communities touched by AIDS to emphasize the positive in HIV positive. They were not stories of desperation, but rather stories of survival and prosperity – of surging forward. And the ticket sales from Brite's Revolutionary Revue will go to help fund another such story.

Husky-voiced Jessica Campbell and her four-piece band kicked off the music and got everyone from the bartenders to the sound guy bouncing with the happy-go-lucky melodies and catchy riffs of “Sleepy Yellow Ball” and “Falling Falling,” which showed off Campbell's clever songwriting and crisp, compelling vocals. Switching on the holiday lights, Campbell treated he crowd to an original holiday song, “See Amid the Winter's Snow,” as well as her own variations on some Christmas classics.

The Honeymoon Thrillers flipped the relaxed atmosphere set by Campbell on its head when they took the stage next, bounding around to thundering riffs and driving beats. The Thrillers clearly were enjoying themselves and gave their energetic performance, and inspired the audience to get up and dance.

SPELLS took the evening in yet another direction with a harmonically dissonant set of tunes. SPELLS with his four-piece band of keys, loops, and background vocals loped along to a thumping bass line and playful drumming. On the song “Transient,” vocalist Trevor Tillery hit the high end of his range, his voice growing more insistent as it floated on top of an unresolved and encompassing electronic drone.

Local favorites The Kicks were charged with finishing off the evening, which is exactly they did with a throbbing, energetic set. Their catchy, retro-’60s melodies, layered with tight harmonies, a funky bass line, and gritty guitar solos, made for an infinitely danceable set and a rollicking good time, onstage and off. Soulful frontman Jordan Phillips shined even on humorous songs like “Santa Claus is Coming to the USA” and “Take You to the Mistletoe.” Ending with an audience singalong on “Shake it Loose,” The Kicks heated up the crowd before sending them off into the cold night air. 



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