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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.  [July 8, 2004]





[]  Country music stars raised money for John Kerry's presidential campaign at the Two Doors Down in Nashville, at a series of events dubbed 'Kerry-oke Nights,' sponsored by the Music Row Democrats, according to an Investigator source at the event.

The second of four Kerry-oke Nights was on June 14, 2004, and featured Kim Carnes, Rodney Crowell, Matraca Berg, her hubby Jeff Hanna, (of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame), Dennis Matkosky, Allison Moorer, Bekka Bramlett, and Emmylou Harris.  An "Army veteran" named Adrienne was another featured guest, according to the source.

The performance began at 7 pm when a "Kerry Choir," comprised of the evening's performers, sang a political song a capella. Featured guests then performed songs and took audience requests in exchange for donations to Kerry's campaign. Fans were thrilled to be allowed to sing alongside their favorite performer, for an additional donation.

The Investigator's source described the event site as a "small venue crowded with supporters of Kerry and fans of the performers."

Hailing back to the Sixties, Berg (author of the 1997 Country Music Association Song of the Year "Strawberry Wine"), her hubby Hanna, and Crowell sang Mr. Tambourine Man. Signature songs were in abundance, Carnes singing "Bette Davis Eyes" and songwriter Matkosky performing "She's a Maniac." Emmylou Harris sang "Ode to Billy Joe."  Army vet Adrienne sang "Me and Bobby McGee."

The Investigator's source reports that "more than $5,000" was raised at the second Kerry-oke fundraiser.  The third and fourth Kerry-okes occurred on June 21 and June 28. Artists on the schedule included Pam Tillis, Raul Malo, Maura O'Connell, Mandy Barnett, Hal Ketchum.






* Rodney Crowell Speaks Out


Crowell has recently stated in an interview that he does not see himself as a country singer, but just as a songwriter, because he does not identify with much of the politics in the country music industry.  Many country music stars are supporting Bush's re-election efforts.

Crowell issued a statement on March, 24, 2003, stating his displeasure with Bush policies on the wars on Terror and Iraq:


March 24, 2003

Much has transpired in the last few months that gives me pause. I was decidedly against the current administration's intentions to invade Iraq without the support of the United Nations. It was my belief President Bush's team had failed to make a convincing case that there was a real reason to invade Iraq. It seemed unwise to alienate our allies for reasons that changed like the weather.

It seemed to me in the aftermath of 9-11, our President adopted a kind of arrogance that perpetuated the ugly American cliché. There is a reason much of the rest of the world sees us as an arrogant nation. It is, of course, foolish to believe all Americans are motivated by greed.  It is, however, easy to understand why others see us as greedy people. I was worried President Bush and his advisors were indebted to special interests -- such as the oil industry -- to such an extent that diplomacy was not considered a viable option.

In the end, I came to believe I knew so little about what was really going on, it was impossible to know which side of the fence to stand on. I do believe the current administration has done a poor job communicating their true intentions to reasonably intelligent liberals such as myself. That said, now that the war is on, I believe it is my duty to support our soldiers in every way possible. It is also time to look for the goodness in our political leaders. I do hope my misgivings about their motivations will prove to have been unfounded.

As a yellow dog Democrat and liberal humanist, I must say the voice of opposition to the war has not been without its ugly moments. Though we may not agree with our President's decisions, it is counter-productive to attack the man personally. It is possible to disagree without disrespect. Although there does seem to be a movement among the staunch conservatives to discount the validity of the liberal opposition's viewpoint at every crook and turn, liberals should not see this as a license to resort to the same tactics. It is my belief the true humanitarian, liberal or conservative, never stoops to name-calling.

I have heard it said that artists should keep their noses out of the political arena. I would say this to that: Notice the way Bono appeals to the higher goodness in the politicians and men of power with which he collaborates. To me, he is the blueprint for how a human being, artist or otherwise, can make a real difference in the world. Let's hope his visions materialize.

-- Rodney Crowell

The Investigator tried to obtain statements from several of the June 14 performers as to why they supported Kerry instead of Bush, either directly or through their management, but received no responses.

Kim Carnes and Matraca Berg fans will want to read our Investigative report on their 2003 Woodland Hills concert.

Copyright 2004 by  Photos copyright & courtesy


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