What do you do when a large section of your hometown burns to the ground? You do whatever you can to help the families and the people who are victimized.
Becky Buller, bluegrass singer, songwriter, and bandleader, was devastated to learn that a tragic fire had burned multiple buildings in Madelia, MN near where she was born. The tragedy was compounded by a deadly winter storm that rolled through on the same day, February 3, 2016, hampering firefighters’ efforts to combat the blaze.
In the end, nine businesses were destroyed by the flames after an explosion in one of the buildings started the fire.
As fate would have it, Becky says that she was actually on the way to Minnesota when she heard the news, and it hit her hard when the personal stories started to come out.
“My band and I were getting ready to head toward Minnesota for a show in my hometown (St. James) when news broke about the fire. Madelia is in my home county and it’s where my dad, Emory Buller, works as a boiler operator at Tony Downs Foods.
But what really got me was when I heard La Plaza F!esta was destroyed. It’s a favorite Mexican restaurant in the area AND owners Krystal and Dainel Hernandez were expecting their first child at any time. My husband and I have a three-year-old daughter and I have a huge heart for anybody who is about to become a parent. The fact that their livelihood had been taken away just as life was about to get really crazy affected me a lot; I had to do something to help. Because I now live in Tennessee, I couldn’t really do anything up there on the ground, so it had to be long distance and, of course, musical.
The song Phoenix Arise, written by Mark Simos and Lisa Aschmann and previously unrecorded, immediately came to mind. It’s interesting to note that Mark and Lisa originally wrote this song to be included on a fundraising project for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It never made that album. Now, over 10 years later, it’s finally accomplishing what it was created to do, just a little further northward.”
She created this video message as well to explain her thinking, and the personal nature of this calamity for her, and to invite everyone to help Madelia by purchasing the download of the song from the Madelia Strong web site. 100% of the monies raised through these download sales go to the rebuilding efforts, and to assist the families whose livelihoods were destroyed along with the buildings.
The Becky Buller Band, Dark Shadow Recording, and songwriters Simos and Aschmann are waiving any fees they may be due for their work on Phoenix Arise so that all proceeds can benefit the rebuilding.
Madelia Strong is also accepting direct donations for their relief efforts online.
Well done, all!