Dave Matthews Headlines Blockbuster Concert to End Mountaintop Removal

ere’s Matthews singing “When the World Ends,” warning us:

“We’re going to float / Through the criss cross of the mountains / Watch them fade to nothing / When the world ends / You know that’s what’s happening now”

“The green rolling hills of West Virginia
Are the nearest thing to heaven that I know
But someday I’ll go back to west Virginia
To the green rolling hills I love so well
Yes someday I’ll go home
And I know I’ll right the wrong
These trouble times will follow me no more”–”Green Rolling Hills,” Utah Phillips

So-called “green” music festivals and concerts may abound like bunny rabbits these days, but tickets go on sale today for the “Green Concert of the Year,” the take-no-prisoner mega-stars lineup of the Music Saves Mountains campaign to stop mountaintop removal on May 19th at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Check out this mountain of a lineup! Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Patty Lovelace, Kathy Mattea and other special guests.

That’s right–Nashville, the nation’s “Music City,” the heart of country music in the coal state of Tennessee, is hosting a tribute to the Appalachian headwaters of American music, from blues to country to gospel to jazz and rock’n’roll, and calling on the nation to halt the destruction of the mountain region and its historic communities and heritage.

Says Emmylou Harris: “The mountains of Appalachia are responsible for countless folk, country and bluegrass songs. Now, the home of that rich tradition is being destroyed.”

Tennessee’s own US Senator, Lamar Alexander, is also the co-sponsor of the Appalachian Restoration Act. In their Senate floor testimony last year, Alexander and co-sponsor Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) noted:

More than 1 million acres of Appalachia have already been destroyed. An estimated 1,200 miles of headwater streams have been buried under tons of mining wastes. Over 500 mountains have been permanently scarred. Homes have been ruined and drinking water supplies contaminated. It is time to end this especially destructive method of coal mining.

Our bill, the Appalachia Restoration Act, will make clear that mining wastes cannot be dumped into our streams, smothering them and sending plumes of toxic run-off into groundwater systems. This Cardin-Alexander legislation amends the Clean Water Act, specifically preventing the so-called “excess spoil” of mining wastes from entering our streams and rivers. This simple legislation will restore the Clean Water Act to its original purpose. In doing so, it will stop the wholesale destruction of some of America’s most beautiful and ecologically significant regions. Mountaintop mining produces less than five percent of the coal mined in the United States.

There’s no harder working man in Nashville than Rob Perks, the Director for NRDC’s Center for Advocacy Campaigns in Washington, DC. Working with NRDC’s extensive network, Nashville stars and agents, the Gibson (guitar) Foundation and other musician organizations, Perks and the NRDC have brought together a powerful and mind-boggling array of country and rock stars–from Sheryl Crow to Big Kenny to Kid Rock to Randy Travis–to speak out against the reckless and needless destruction of Appalachian communities.

Please pass the word on the amazing Music Save Mountains campaign!

Musicians like Grammy Award-winning Kathy Mattea have been in the forefront of the anti-mountaintop removal campaign for years.

Andy Maher and Jason Wilber of Heartwood have also produced a star-studded lineup of musicians against mountaintop removal in their CD collection, Coal Country Music.

Paul Kudzo and Jack Wright also put together a groundbreaking collection of musicians from the coalfields, and the impact of mountaintop removal on their CD collection, Music of Coal.

And Aurora Lights put out a great collection of musicians active in the coalfield justice campaign in Appalachia, with Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home.

The writers and musician collective, Public Outcry, have appeared at coalfield rallies and concerts for years.

Folk heroes Michael and Carrie Kline recently put out the coalfield ballads collection, Damp as the Dew.

And Kentucky musicians Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore have just released a new album, “Dear Companion,” exploring the impact of mountaintop removal.

Here’s the wondrous Emmylou singing Utah Phillips’ classic, “The Green Rolling Hills (of West Virginia)”:

Check Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller on their amazing version of “Never Grow Old”:

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6 Responses to Dave Matthews Headlines Blockbuster Concert to End Mountaintop Removal

  1. Patti says:

    I just watched the Coal Country movie on Sundance last night, March 14 and I can’t tell you how moved I was. I cried at certain parts of it. I too live in the mountains between Knoxville, TN and Kentucky. What can I do here in my region to get involved? I can’t applaud enough the efforts of the residents in the film who are attempting to take back their communities. I am so proud of them for standing up to the big coal companies. I wanted to tell them to Keep Fighting!

  2. Randall Maggard says:

    I don’t suppose ” The Dave Matthews Band ” is still performing ” Community Service for their ” incident in Chicago a few years back ( see http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/entertainment/3600850.stm ) ” Band may be charged over sewage “. In the incident the Band bus dumped raw sewage off of a bridge while crossing the river showering a sight seeing tour boat with human waste.
    Has his act now turned ” GREEN “?

    Token Coal Miner,

  3. Admin says:

    PERFECT! I totally agree with you that this awful media blitz besmirched (somewhat… at least to blind media believers…) Mr. Dave Mathews reputation, even though he was not the one to stop that bus, or make the decision to dump the sewage into the Chicago river, especially on peoples heads in the tour boat.
    He apologized for that situation, and was mortified that his name was involved… {of course you don’t mention that here}… and (just as you’re doing in this blog), the media chose to focus on fabrications they didn’t research, but wanted to publicize, whether it has to do with the situation or not… as they turned a blind eye to other more pertinent things that were about ten billion times worse. That’s why we “thinking’ people choose to not blindly listen to the Conservative Right’ Fox News”fair and balanced” reporters and celebrities, or even the Left’s “Move On.org”. Not that there isn’t grains of truth in both views. Shame on the bus driver for doing that… hmmm…. he couldn’t have been hired to make Dave Mathews look bad? Have you ever thought about why things like this get blown out of proportion? Who would stop their bus on the bridge in the middle of downtown Chicago, and drop sewage on a tour boat? Crap like that sounds conspiratorial, and I believe he was framed. In my work as a radio producer, we’ve had our building spray painted with environmentalist slogans. But I have a deep feeling that this was done as a conservative tactic to make them look bad. We as a people understand that these things are undermining our freedom. Be very careful about what you are saying here. I don’t even believe that you know what you are saying. You’re a pawn, Randy. And if you do know… you’re worse. Maybe even a Bishop or a Knight.
    I’m a little concerned that you are so willing to side yourself with the “media”, with little thought to how it’s twisted… all at the same time when you accuse “Coal Country” of twisting your words in the film.
    From the article you mention: “The driver of a bus leased by the band allegedly emptied the septic tank through a grate in the bridge and into the Chicago River below.”
    I’d think twice about how you’re coming across here, Randy, because I’m going to continue to post everything you have to say verbatum.

  4. Displeased Appalachian says:


    I am pleased to hear that you have such concern over crap being dumped on people’s heads. I know it was news in Chicago, but I think something like that would not even register a sigh in Appalachia. We have had crap dumped on us for generations.

  5. WV hollergirl says:

    Wow Randy, since you are so concerned about rivers and streams.. maybe you and your coal companies will stop dumping toxic poisons into our streams, wells and into our air.
    Unlike Dave Mathews- you can’t say that you don’t know what your co workers are doing. Mr. Mathews was not there – but you are – everyday and you aren’t apologizing or trying to atone. You are aiding in the evil deed.

    Please stop poisoning us. Please.

  6. Bo Webb says:

    I live directly beneath an mtr site and have crap dumped into my stream and river every day by your mtr operations. That is aside from whatever it is you’re blasting out of the ground into fine particulate dust that is being forced into my family’s lungs. Someday, you are going to leave this world and stand before the Almighty. You know what you are doing is wrong, yet you continue to do it.
    If someone is doing something that directly causes harm or death to another and is not aware, that is one thing. But, when a person is doing something that directly causes harm and/or death to another human being and becomes aware that their actions are doing so, they must stop that action. To continue that action once made aware of its harm then becomes criminal and a sin. If people are dying because of that action, I say it is no less than murder. But that is a case you can discuss with the great Almighty I suppose.

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