Maxwell Stern (Signals Midwest, Timeshares) has teamed up with members of Ratboys, Modern Baseball, Into it. Over It., Mother Evergreen, and Slaughter Beach Dog to record a track inspired by John Prine, with Bandcamp proceeds going to NIVA. None of the instruments or vocals were recorded in the same place, creating a true quarantine collaboration with a lot of really talented folks.
"I wrote this song on April 8th, 2020, the day after John Prine died. I spent the whole day doing nothing but listening to his music." says Stern of the track, adding "There's such incredible beauty and humor in his songs but there's also a definite darkness, a somber quality that can exist in that same space. I was wondering about what he might write for these current times, and then I tried to write my own personal version of that song."
Lauren Records will be donating all Bandcamp sales for the song to the National Independent Venue Association for the foreseeable future. NIVA is an organization working to secure financial support for independent venues across America. These establishments were the first to close as COVID overtook the American ecosystem, and they will be the last to reopen, and when they do they will require help and solutions unique to the live music industry that we all love so dearly.
"Independent venues have given me everything - jobs, friends, inspiration and a means of self-discovery. I don't know who I'd be without places like The Grog Shop, Johnny Brenda's, Boot & Saddle, O'Briens, Great Scott, and the Beat Kitchen. I became a better version of myself in these rooms, as have countless others." says Stern about the decision to donate to the organization.