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Tucson Together Fund

'Luz de Vida' to light up Rialto benefit for Jan. 8 charity

Released this week, "Luz de Vida" is a music compilation benefiting the Tucson Together Fund, which provides support for the Jan. 8 victims and their families.

The Fort Lowell Records release, as well as a concert of the same name at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, was created in response to the Jan. 8 shooting incident which left six dead and 13 wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

"Everyone we approached was eager to do this," said Eric Swedlund, a journalist and member of Music Against Violence, the group responsible for the album.

"On a local level, some of the bands in particular felt compelled for very personal reasons to get involved."

The roster of Tucson artists on "Luz de Vida" is extensive. Calexico, Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta, Brian Lopez, Chango Malo, Giant Sand, Al Perry, Salvador Duran and the Taraf de Tucson all lent their time and talents to the recording.

Add to that several major label bands with ties to the Old Pueblo, including Ozomatli, Neko Case, Spoon, Robyn Hitchcock and DeVotchKa, and you have the makings of a release that organizers hope will do a lot of good.

In the end, 37 local and national acts participated, either contributing songs that they felt fit with the album's overall theme or recording new tracks for the project.

"We left it open to what they were interested in doing," Swedlund said. "Some were written in direct response to the shootings. Howe Gelb (of Giant Sand) recorded ('Recovery Mission') before anyone even asked. That was something you could tell he was compelled to do."

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The idea for "Luz de Vida," which is Spanish for "Light of Life," came early on, less than a month after the shootings, from discussions held between Loveland Recording Studio's Nathan Sabatino and Thomas Beach.

"They felt the pain of the community and wanted to do something about it," Swedlund said.

Sabatino and Beach enlisted a team of local writers and music industry professionals to help out and dubbed the group, Music Against Violence. Sabatino and Beach handled the recording aspects. Rialto Theatre general manager Curtis McCrary and Tucson Weekly's music editor Stephen Seigel recruited the talent.

When all tracks were in, Arizona Public Media's Jim Blackwood handled the mastering and James Tritten, founder for Fort Lowell Records, worked with the Rialto's marketing and design manager, Ryan Trayte, to get the art finalized and the project online and on-shelves.

"When Curtis came to me and told me what they wanted to do, it fell right in line with what Fort Lowell is all about," Tritten said. "Creating this positive feeling and inspiration for people."

Costs were kept to a bare minimum, as just about every aspect was done on a voluntary basis. The album was released as a digital download and in limited edition vinyl, which was paid for entirely by sponsors.

"I was worried at first about finding enough support, but we ended up with more than we needed," Tritten said. "That actually allowed us to release 1,500 vinyl copies as opposed to the original plan for 1,000."

For the artists involved, participating in a project like this allowed them the opportunity to put their talents to work.

Singer/songwriter Tracy Shedd was incredibly emotional when she heard about the shootings on Jan. 8.

"I was immediately really upset," she said. "My mom was the first person I called. It was a sad day."

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When Music Against Violence approached her to participate, she accepted on the spot. She even had a song in mind; a previously unreleased track, titled "Encourage Me."

"I knew it would be an uplifting song," she said. "The message was perfect."

Gabriel Sullivan, leader of the Taraf de Tucson, opens the album with the heartfelt track, "Vaya Con Dios."

Sullivan was not surprised by the outpouring of support from Tucson's music community.

"I think it's the only way Tucson folks know how to be," Sullivan said in an email interview, while on tour in France. "Tucson's the sun after the rain. It's a place where the time seems to move a bit slower than everywhere else. There's time for community and for love."

Saturday night's concert will feature performances from many of the album's Tucson participants, including Joey Burns and John Convertino from Calexico, the Kiss and Tells, Duran, Reno Del Mar, Mariachi Luz de Luna, HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS, Shedd, La Cerca, Golden Boots, Silverbell, Rich Hopkins, and Tom Walbank.

Bill Carnegie of the Tucson Together Fund and Ron Barber, Giffords' district director who was wounded on Jan. 8, are both slated to speak.

Copies of the album will be available at the concert.

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What, where & when

  • What: “Luz de Vida: A Compilation to Benefit the Victims of the Tucson Tragedy” record release and benefit show
  • Where: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5 suggested donation;
  • $10 for entrance and a copy of “Luz de Vida” in digital form
  • $20 for entrance and copies of “Luz de Vida“ in both digital and vinyl formats.
  • More information: rialtotheatre.com or 740-1000

'Luz de Vida' sample songs

Dead Western Plains "People Beat"

Giant Sand "Recovery Mission (Radio Edit)"

'Luz de Vida' songs

Vinyl track listing

Side A

  • 1: Dead Western Plains "People Beat"
  • 2: Kiss & The Tells "Tell Me Now"
  • 3: Rainer "The Oasis"
  • 4: Mariachi Luz de Luna "Luz a la Vida"
  • 5: Giant Sand "Recovery Mission (Radio Edit)"
  • 6: Chango Malo "A Change Is Gonna Come (Live)"

Side B

  • 7: Tracy Shedd "Encourage Me"
  • 8: La Cerca "Swim An Ocean"
  • 9: Calexico "Absent Afternoon"
  • 10: Lenguas Largas "Such A Thing"
  • 11: Holy Rolling Empire "Father's Father"
  • 12: Salvador Duran "Gabynda (Yolanda)"

Digital track listing

  • 1: Taraf de Tucson "Vaya Con Dios"
  • 2: Dead Western Plains "People Beat"
  • 3: Sweet Secrets "Evidence"
  • 4: John Vanderslice "Pale Horse"
  • 5: Rachel Flotard & Jon Rauhouse "Hammered Light"
  • 6: Kiss & The Tells "Tell Me Now"
  • 7: El Depravos (feat. Chuck Prophet) "Vampire Requiem"
  • 8: Rainer "The Oasis"
  • 9: Reno del Mar "All For Love"
  • 10: Robyn Hitchcock "Light Blue Afternoon"
  • 11: Ozomatli "It's Only Time"
  • 12: Mariachi Luz de Luna "Luz a la Vida"
  • 13: Sunday Afternoon "Mexico"
  • 14: Giant Sand "Recovery Mission"
  • 15: Al Perry & Calexico "Dreaming (Live)"
  • 16: Brian Lopez "Molly (Live)"
  • 17: Chango Malo "A Change Is Gonna Come (Live)" VINYL EXCLUSIVE
  • 18: Meat Puppets "Love Our Children Forever (Live)"
  • 19: Jimmy Eat World "Here It Goes (Live)"
  • 20: HAIRSPRAYFIREANDGIRLS "The Only Child"
  • 21: Tracy Shedd "Encourage Me"
  • 22: La Cerca "Swim An Ocean"
  • 23: Spoon "Vittorio E."
  • 24: Seashell Radio "Lewis y Clark"
  • 25: Calexico "Absent Afternoon"
  • 26: Neko Case "Middle Cyclone"
  • 27: Mark Growden "Saguaro"
  • 28: Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta "Las Calles de Tucson"
  • 29: DeVotchKa "The Common Good"
  • 30: Lenguas Largas "Such A Thing"
  • 31: Golden Boots "Regional Whales"
  • 32: Silverbell "Why"
  • 33: Rich Hopkins "What Am I Supposed To Do?"
  • 34: Holy Rolling Empire "Father's Father"
  • 35: Tom Walbank "Guitar In Dub"
  • 36: Silver Thread Trio "Mockingbird"
  • 37: Salvador Duran "Gabynda (Yolanda)"
  • Note: The digital download card included inside the 12-inch vinyl will feature all artists.