In 2009 I bought a compilation called Dark Was the Night, an album benefitting the Red Hot Organization, a charity that raises awareness for HIV and AIDS. There were two songs on the compilation that I wanted to hear, but in order to get those two songs, I had to buy the whole album. At the time, I was still too young to have my own debit card so all of my iTunes purchases required that I use an iTunes giftcard. I hurried down to the nearest Walgreens to purchase an iTunes giftcard so I could listen to the new tracks.
Even though I only expected to really listen to the two songs I was first interested in, Dark Was the Night introduced me to many, many, many musicians I love today. I simply cannot emphasize enough how influential the album has been on my music taste in the last couple years.
Last week I came upon a Kickstarter fundraiser for a new Red Hot compilation through DM Stith’s Tumblr. The album is a tribute to the late Arthur Russell who died in 1992 from AIDS related issues. Russell was a musician who lived and worked in New York City and was active in the music scene there in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He has since been recognized as one of the most eclectic and influential musicians of that time.
The album will consist of Russell’s songs covered by many well known musicians. I’m most excited to hear the covers from DM Stith’s band The Revival Hour, José González, Glen Hansard, and Nico Muhly+Owen Pallett.
Go check out the Kickstarter page for this album and consider donating-it’s going to be fantastic.