In the aftermath of a string of tornadoes that charted their destructive paths through many of our southern states, local communities are pooling their resources to help those who have lost their homes, possessions, and even family and friends. While we traditionally see a push for donations following international disasters, we are now seeing an amazing effort on a smaller scale. Despite the size of the effort, its impact is immeasurable. Tornado relief benefit concerts are popping up all across the South, and serving as a means to give and seek donations and support, and tap into the healing properties of music. Artists are coming together to play these shows free of charge to help those affected by the storms. Under the selfless leadership of people like Gene Smith, organizer of the Tornado Relief Concert Series, musicians and music lovers alike can participate in raising money, goods, and awareness. With the help of Jerry Shimp, Jaime Coggins, Heidi Schmitt, and Hilaria Pendergraft, Smith’s concert series is making its way through North Carolina with stops in Greensboro (5/10), Asheville (5/19), Raleigh (5/21), and Charlotte (TBD). There will also be shows scheduled in Atlanta, GA, Eclectic, AL and Huntsville, AL. These concerts give citizens a chance to help their neighbors, while listening to talented musicians like Jim Avett (patriarch to The Avett Brothers) and Holy Ghost Tent Revival. The Tornado Relief Concert Series also broadcasts live on the web via Lapcast TV, allowing those of us who can not attend an opportunity to catch some amazing acts and donate to a very important cause (look for the PayPal link on the website). While those affected by the tornadoes may never regain what was lost, the hope is that these small acts of kindness will help them get back on their feet. Amidst the ruin and rubble, the combination of music and community has the power to replace loss and despair with hope and joy as we move forward from tragedy. Thank you to everyone involved in these efforts!