Sweet Relief

Recently, I reviewed Télépopmusik's album Genetic World on these pages and Angela McCluskey, the lead vocalist with the softly powerful voice, was kind enough to write me and ask if I could help out with something she feels strongly about. It's called Sweet Relief and it's been around since 1994 when it was founded by singer-songwriter Victoria Williams. From the site:

Sweet Relief was founded by singer-songwriter Victoria Williams in 1993. Victoria, while on a career-making tour with Neil Young was forced to drop off mid-schedule after experiencing unexplained debilitating symptoms. A long and painful diagnostic process revealed she had multiple sclerosis.

After her diagnosis, a group of friends assembled an all-star album of Victoria’s songs, Sweet Relief, which alleviated much of her medical debt. Vic, knowing that there are many musicians like her - -unable to afford medical expenses and compromised in their ability to work- - donated some of her proceeds from the album to found Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. The name of the fund derives from a song of Victoria’s, Opelousas (Sweet Relief) and the fact that we do provide sweet relief in the form of financial assistance to many musicians who would otherwise be in untenable predicaments

It's something I understand from experience. I used to belong to AFTRA/SAG but couldn't find enough work to reach the minimum amount where the union pays the health insurance and couldn't afford my own. Eventually, work outside of the arts provided a stable income and health insurance but the vast majority of artists don't find fame or fortune and can't get any coverage. I'm good friends with a terrific jazz pianist right now who can't sustain a living with music despite his talents.

Sweet Relief takes donations from people inside the industry and out to help the people who have provided so many with so much for so little. If you are a musician, like me, know a musician or just love music (surely there's no one that doesn't, right?) take the time to give whatever you can to help those with debilitating illnesses who don't have the means to take care of what the heart and soul cannot.

And to help you get there, here's a video of Here Comes the Sun, sung beautifully by Angela and arranged by Paul Cantelon. The list of folks helping out with the video is an impressive one and I urge you to go to the Vimeo site as well to read the info. Then purchase the song through one of the provided links to help bring needed funds to Sweet Relief. Thanks in advance and enjoy the music.

Here Comes The Sun by Angela McCluskey (benefiting Sweet Relief) from Bernadette/Capture on Vimeo.