A few years ago, I wrote an article about the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) benefit concert held every summer in Columbus, Ohio. At the heart of the event is Darrel Adkins, a long-time bluegrass promoter whose daughter Mandy died of cancer at 20 years of age in 2000. As part of her treatment, she was accepted into the amazing St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
St. Jude, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas in the early 1960s, not only tries to find and develop the most cutting-edge treatments available for battling cancer in young people, it also provides free services for all who are admitted yet can’t afford. Because of that, every dollar counts, and the money raised by the MACC festival and the resultant live albums has resulted in donations totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Life Goes On is the second double-CD live album recorded at MACC to be released. So, we know that the proceeds from this album will benefit a wonderful charity, but is the music any good? Absolutely. I can say that with confidence because there is so much music on this project, it would be hard to find something you didn’t like. The two CDs combined have two hours and 20 minutes of live performances including 39 songs played by 139 of bluegrass music’s best musicians. The lineup is too big to list, but the artists range from Michael Cleveland to the SteelDrivers to Tony Rice and J.D. Crowe. And, one unique aspect of this album is that many of your favorite bluegrassers are put together in new combinations. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 750, Mt. Juliet, TN 37121, www.ruralrhythm.com.)DH