Hartford, CT --
Four bright entrepreneurs and musicians from Maryland and Connecticut
converged in Hartford to bring about an innovative and original online fund raising campaign.
This conscious group of artists was motivated by the desire to make a difference in the lives of
those people affected by the devastating Gulf oil spill disaster this year. A new website -
Give To The Gulf™ - encourages “giving through music”. It was created in only three
short weeks, and musicians and songwriters from all parts of the United States banded together and
chipped in to be part of the relief effort. The site had its official launch today in East
Hartford with a kickoff celebration at L&R Productions.
Give To The Gulf’s message is about being part of the global solution and
taking local action. Eric Knight, one of members of this quartet of
musican/entrepreneurs is the founder of Remarkable Technologies, and he was the one who came
up with idea and the name. Knight is a prolific inventor who was actually already noted
for his proposal and simple solution to fix the gushing oil problem back in May 2010.
Uniting with Eric were Paul Lombardo and Tom Russo of L&R Productions Inc., and Mike
Sokol of JMS Productions Inc. in Maryland. Give To The Gulf™ is an all-volunteer
effort. This newly formed team developed the online model for the website portal,
collaborated with musical artists from all across America, and established relationships with
iTunes and TuneCore and other corporate partners to make the site a reality. Give To
The Gulf, Volume 1 features eleven original songs as an album download. The title track
is available to view on YouTube.
“All over the country people are asking how they can help their fellow
Americans in the Gulf. We thought it could be as simple as sharing music and downloading a
song,” Eric Knight said in Farmington, CT. “The project was an intense
collaboration. We worked tirelessly to find the perfect lyrics, the perfect music, and
the perfect sound to capture an anthem that will resonate and inspire people to
When visitors download the album’s music through iTunes, 100% of the revenue
that musicians would usually get will go directly to the United Way Gulf Recovery Fund.
The Fund supports long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts through educational, financial
and health-related programs. It also provides emergency assistance, including help with
food, rent, utilities, etc. The concept of this effort is simple - by giving money,
people get great music. Musicians from around the world who submit their music to be
part of the fund raising effort retain all ownership and copyrights to their music.
After submitting the material, the website acts as a pipeline to Apple’s iTunes system under
the Give To The Gulf™ music label umbrella.
“I simply could not be more proud of what we’re accomplishing for Gulf-coast
residents,” said Knight. “What started as a simple phrase - ‘Give To The Gulf’ - that
popped into my head about six weeks ago has blossomed into a wonderful collaboration of
people with very generous hearts. Fueled by technology, it is refreshing to see how the power
of people and ideas can accomplish great things for our fellow citizens.”
Paul Lombardo commented after Knight, “The music in Volume 1 is quite diverse,
and as we continue to reach out to musicians and songwriters globally, the diversity will
grow richer. This is all about people helping people. The quality of the songs
and productions that artists have generously donated to the cause is outstanding. Now,
all Americans can engage in this effort with us by enjoying great music while supporting a
very worthwhile cause.”
Tom Russo also had this to say. “In three short weeks, our team has
moved mountains to bring this effort to life. Writing the lyrics for the title track has been
an inspiring labor of love motivated by the desire to help those truly in need. And
just as the clean-up will take an on-going effort, we have created a model through the Give
To The Gulf Web portal that will keep giving. We encourage songwriters and artists from
around the world to contact us as Volumes 2 and 3 are already in the works.”
Rounding up the interview was Mike Sokol: “Music is one of the most
powerful forces on the planet. Since pre-history, it’s been used to calm or uplift or call us
to action. But there was little opportunity for individual musicians to reach beyond their
own circle of listeners - until now. Give To The Gulf leverages technologies such as
TuneCore and iTunes to allow songwriters from every walk of life to come together and help
raise both awareness and funds in a global effort to save our environment. It’s a great
privilege to be part of this initiative."