Tomorrow, Feb. 27, Tennessee Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to “protecting and preserving the Tennessee and Cumberland River Basins,” will host ‘Downstream,’ a virtual fundraising concert (quote via their website). The event will feature performances from such artists as Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood, Michael Franti and more.
Tennessee Riverkeeper founder David Whiteside will serve as one of the emcees for the event, alongside actor Alicia Silverstone. In addition to the performances, the event will also see appearances by Phish drummer Jon Fishman, comedian Bill Burr, three-time Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and comedian Cheryl Hines.
“These musicians and hosts are Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians who understand that clean water is a nonpartisan issue. We can help unite our divided country by building a bridge over troubled waters,” said Whiteside, via press release.
“Everyone needs clean water and healthy food. It’s exciting to co-host this fun concert for Tennessee Riverkeeper with David Whiteside,” added Silverstone. “We hope you’ll join us and support this great cause.”
Whiteside and Fishman’s relationship dates back to 2004, when the two worked together on Whiteside’s first major fundraiser to benefit Black Warrior Riverkeeper. Whiteside founded the organization as his senior thesis at the University of Vermont.
“I met David Whiteside when he was in college at the University of Vermont, it’s been more than 15 years since then, and I’ve only known Whiteside to work harder and his dedication to trying to keep our water safe and clean has been unmatched as far as anyone else I know,” said Fishman (quote via press release. “David is just relentless.”
According to a press release, “Native Americans called the Tennessee River, “The Singing River,” because of a legend of a woman who lived in the river and sang to them. For over a decade, many of our region’s most prominent musicians, from Muscle Shoals to Nashville, have honored this Native American mystique by fostering and supporting the growth of nonprofit Tennessee Riverkeeper and educating millions of fans about the importance of water.”
“Since the 1930s, the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers have received a plethora of pollution from chemical factories, coal, plastics, and a grim litany of other toxins,” Whiteside added. “All life depends on clean water, especially humans as our bodies are comprised of more than 60% water. More than 6,300,000 citizens depend on the region we serve for their drinking water. Too often we take our water supply for granted.”
The event will be free to watch, but the organization is “asking for a suggested donation of $25” from viewers. All donations will go directed to Tennessee Riverkeeper.
Whiteside and Silverstone shared a video announcing the event, and Bill Burr, Jon Fishman, Michael Franti, Lyle Lovett and Whiteside also filmed a separate PSA. Watch both videos (and check out the full lineup) below.
To tune into ‘Downstream,’ click here.