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Why Nashville Indie Musicians Are Singing for Bernie Sanders

A pair of benefit concerts and a multi-artist anthem aim to drum up more support for the Democratic presidential candidate

On Monday, Super Tuesday eve, a cadre of independent Nashville artists will take the stage at the Basement East in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Dubbed “Concert for the Revolution to Elect Bernie Sanders,” the show is the brainchild of local musician Dean Moore and features performances by Lissie, Darrin Bradbury, Joel King of the Wild Feathers, Sarah Potenza, and Brian Wright, among others.

To create a centerpiece for the concert, Moore, who has played bass for Truth and Salvage Co., Will Hoge, and Andrew Leahey and the Homestead, joined Amie Miriello (Boys Club for Girls) and Tim Jones (Truth and Salvage Co.) in writing a rallying anthem: “Our Kind of Revolution” includes many of the voices singing at the Concert for the Revolution, part of the BernieFest initiative.

Moore says the song, which he sums up as an indie ” ‘We Are the World’ for change,” came about quickly. “We had it put together, mixed, and mastered in a couple of days,” he says. “People immediately wanted to do the song. There is a groundswell happening and they want to be a part of something that moves the needle.”

The Nashville vocalist Potenza, who adds a hefty dose of soul to “Our Kind of Revolution” and will also perform at the concert, got involved because of Sanders’ commitment to providing nationwide health care. “Here in Nashville, we have seen friends lose their lives to treatable diseases,” she says. “We have seen fellow musicians take their own lives because they struggled with mental illness. We believe that health care for all will have a great effect on those who need access. I myself have been lucky enough to benefit from Obamacare. So for the sake of our community as well as others, we support Bernie Sanders.”

Net proceeds from all tickets sold will go to the Sanders campaign.

“In addition to health care and the environment, Bernie has also made it a priority that he wants to be an ‘arts president,’ ” Moore says. “He wants robust funding of the arts in schools, cities, and public spaces. He says art is speech and is what life is all about. We need to prioritize that as something that contributes to society.”

The day before the Concert for the Revolution, a second benefit show for Sanders will also be held in Nashville. “BernieFest: Not Me, Not You, Us” is set for Sunday, March 1st, at Exit/In and includes performances by Captain Midnight Band, the Hardin Draw, and others. Like Concert for the Revolution, 100 percent of net proceeds go to the campaign.

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