Following the devastation of Hurricane Irma, which decimated a number of islands in the Caribbean on its way to Florida and the rest of the Southeast, Phish’s Trey Anastasio is collecting and matching donations made through the band’s WaterWheel Foundation to help the island of Tortola.
In a statement posted on Phish’s website, Anastasio detailed his connection with the island, dating back to a trip in 1992 with his wife Sue. The eye of Hurricane Irma passed directly over Tortola last week, with the damage categorized as “incalculable.”
“Sue and I are so worried for our Tortola friends, most of whom cannot be reached,” Anastasio said. “And with so many people suffering today right here in America, we fear that it could understandably be easy to forget and overlook a small island territory.”
He continued, “I love Tortola. I’ve written many song there. It’s where I’ve gone in the winter to slow down, write and to bring new song ideas to completion. Songs that were born as little germs of ideas elsewhere, often were crafted and came to life in Tortola.” He specifically mentions much of newer tunes like “Mercury,” “Breath and Burning,” “Tide Turns,” “More” and originally “Lifeboy.”
In conjunction with the band’s WaterWheel Foundation, Anastasio has set up the Tortola Relief Fund which is now accepting donations to be matched by the guitarist and his family. To donate, click here. Read Anastasio’s statement in full here.