On August 2nd, members of the Nashville music community and beyond will come together to help one of their own with ‘After The Fire‘ – A Benefit Concert for Luella and the Sun. The special event will take place at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge at 8pm, with performances by Justin Townes Earle, Mike Farris, Altered Statesman, DUGAS, Los Colognes, Webb Wilder, James Wallace and the Naked Light, Luella and the Sun and more.
The benefit was put together in response to a tragic fire that destroyed Luella’s guitarist Joe McMahan’s studio, and home. The fire took place on June 8th when McMahan and Luella took a quick break to grab some lunch. When they came back, the fire had already done its damage. “As I got closer, I realized all of the commotion was happening at my house”, says McMahan. “At that moment everything became surreal. There was a charred ’67 Fender Coronado in the yard and a rack of old Apex lying sideways on the porch. I wanted to vomit. When I was allowed to go inside it was an overwhelming feeling. My brain couldn’t differentiate what to mourn – a $2500 compressor, or the cables that I had hand soldered myself. It’s such an extreme feeling that I was forced to just let go. You realize how important it is when people say, ‘nobody got hurt'”.
More than half of the home was saved due to quick action from a neighbor. It’s a terrible thing on so many levels for the band. Not only was it a home to McMahan, but it was also the place where the band recorded their debut 10” vinyl release, and where they had planned on recording their debut album during the month of July. The rest of the house suffered massive smoke damage, affecting many of Joe and Luella’s possessions.
The cause of the fire is presumed to be electrical. McMahan has insurance, but how much of the damage will be covered is not yet known. What is certain is that it will be a long while before reconstruction can begin, which means the recording will be put on hold as well.
Luckily, the Nashville music scene is a very tight-knit community that was ready and willing to do whatever necessary in supporting the band in the wake of such horrible misfortune. When referring to said support, McMahan offered this: “There has been an incredible wave of caring from friends and community here, as well as from complete strangers from afar. It has shown us that people really are good and will come out of the woodwork to help. Every call, text, email and every dollar donated has made a huge difference. Our whole band would like to say a thousand thank you’s. This has really been an unimaginable and touching experience for us all.”