JOPLIN, Mo. —
Wind speeds in excess of 200 mph, a widespread damage path, schools and hospitals destroyed -- Joplin has heard this song before.
The tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on May 20 -- two days before the two-year anniversary of the Joplin tornado -- gave Joplin residents an unpleasant case of deja vu.
"I think there is a genuine sense of responsibility," said Luke Sheafer, lead singer of Me Like Bees. "We all know what this is like, what it does to the whole community. And they are so close, just four hours away."
The response is also similar to events two years ago. A fundraising concert featuring several local bands will raise money for organizations in Moore, helping to rebuild.
The Heartland to Heartland concert will feature seven bands -- Me Like Bees, Carter Hulsey, Third Party, Caleb Denison, My Rotten Self, Jake Clark Band and Josh Mullen -- in an effort to raise funds for four organizations helping recovery efforts in Moore. The organizations are Art Feeds, Convoy of Hope, Direct Relief and Southern Baptist Relief.
Jon Buck, owner of JB's Piano Bar, said that Me Like Bees and Third Party were already booked for a customer appreciation party on Saturday. The party was rescheduled and retooled into a fundraiser after Kelly Maddy, bassist for Third Party, suggested a change to a fundraising show.
"He's been very active in putting this together and getting everyone on board," Buck said. "They wanted to come together to do something for the organizations helping out Moore."
Sheafer said Me Like Bees doesn't do many benefit shows because making money for the intended beneficiary can be difficult without good management. But the band has performed several benefit shows for Joplin tornado relief and wrote a song about Joplin's tornado to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
"Naked Trees" was released in late 2011. When downloading, customers can make a donation in the amount they choose.
"We honestly didn't do a lot of research into fundraising groups, but what we did know was that (Habitat for Humanity) was building homes for families," Sheafer said. "That was all I needed to know. The on-the-ground effort meant a lot. It wasn't a trickle down, hopefully-it-gets-there kind of thing."
Buck said he hopes to see about $10,000 raised by the concert.
Buck said the lineup for tonight's event features some of the best music Joplin has to offer.
Me Like Bees is set to release its long-awaited full-length album, "The Ides," in July. The indie-rock band has been together since 2009 and recently signed with Loveway Records.
The song "Naked Trees," based on the Joplin tornado, was written from the experience of being away from town when it hit, then rushing back to find out the damage that had been done.
Sheafer said he wondered if the lyrics he wrote were too storybook-influenced, but other band members liked what they saw.
"They said they liked it, and we went with it," Sheafer said. "I almost expected a backlash from it."
- Carter Hulsey is an indie songwriter who blends pop, country and rock seamlessly in his music. He has opened for Never Shout Never, Plain White Ts, Fake Problems and Rocket to the Moon. He recently completed work on a new full-length album.
- Third Party is a groove rock-inspired band that released its most recent EP in January.
- Caleb Denison, a former member of Never Shout Never, is a singer-guitarist who won a Top Artist Award from ArtistSignal last June. His latest album, "Information Generation," was released in January.
- My Rotten Self released its album "By a String" earlier this year.
- The Jake Clark Band is an alternative country/red dirt band that tours the region and Oklahoma.
- Josh Mullen is the singer for Totojojo, a fusion band that combines funk, pop and reggae.
Want to go?
Heartland to Heartland will be held at 4 p.m. today at JB's Piano Bar, located at 112 S. Main St. Admission is by donation; JB's recommends $5. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating. Food and beverages will be available. Because of alcohol sales, the show is for those 21 or older. Details: 417-624-5678.