Over 20 Kentucky musicians, including Jim James, Will Oldham, and Scott Carney of Wax Fang, have teamed up with Teddy Abrams of the Louisville Orchestra for the new charity single, “Lift Up Louisville”. Proceeds benefit the One Louisville COVID-19 Response Fund.
The song came about at the request of Louisville mayor Greg Fisher. Abrams organized the proceedings, as well as writing the piano music that became the song’s backbone. The lyrics were a collaboration between James, Oldham, Carney, and Louisville rapper 1200, birth name Jecorey Arthur.
“How long will we have to stay all cooped up in our homes?” the first verse asks. “How much longer until we can hold our loved ones close?” The uncertainty gives way to an uplifting chorus: “I’ll hold you on the other side/ ‘Cause I’m gonna make it through/ And you’re gonna make it, too.”
In an interview with NPR, Oldham, aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, gave a window into the collaborative process.
“Teddy sent some music to start with and then Scott Carney sent a big like chunk of lyrics and so I kind of distilled a few things, rephrased a few things, and then stuck in the chorus And then Jim sang it…. The sound of Louisville that you hear in there is kind of an effortless, an eagerness to getting together and and feeding off of each other and giving to each other.”
James’ My Morning Jacket bandmate Patrick Hallahan rocks his drum set, and additional vocals are provided by Cheyenne Mize, Sharron Sales, Scott T. Smith, Carly Johnson, Jason Clayborn and Sam Bush. The Louisville Orchestra is well represented by Gabriel Lefkowitz, Julia Noone, Kathy Karr, Matthew Karr, and Andre Levine. Rayul Beatbox does just that, while additional instrumentals come from Danny Kiely, Dani Markham, Daniel Martin Moore, Brigid Kaelin, and Michael Cleveland, with string and wind arrangements by Jacob Duncan.
Check out “Lift Up Louisville” below, and donate to the One Louisville COVID-19 Response Fund if you are so inspired.
Around the world, musicians are using charity singles to raise money for coronavirus relief. New Kids on the Block are trying to feed children experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic with “House Party”, Bon Iver’s “PDLIF” will provide PPE to healthcare professionals, Dirty Projectors supported fellow musicians with a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation”, and Walter Martin and Matt Berninger shared the hilarious “Quarantine Boogie (Loco)”.