The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 7, 2013

Heard this song before: Similar tornado in Moore inspires bands to play fundraising concert

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.

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