Photo courtesy Guitar Center. They describe the scene: “A shattered Kay acoustic guitar (Circa late 1950’s or early 1960’s) sits on the floor of Soundcheck Nashville, waiting to be assessed for damage.”

Wherever they occur in the world, disasters’ material impact can be nearly as emotionally and personally challenging as loss of life. Floods in Nashville, Tennessee have illustrated this vividly, as irreplaceable instruments at facilities like the legendary Soundcheck Nashville have born the brunt of the rising flood waters.

For their part, Soundcheck has been running a flood blog covering recovery and equipment load out.

National Public Radio’s All Things Considered last night covered some of the damage, and how people are coping – including some of the instruments that are being saved.
Floods Wreak Havoc On Nashville Music Scene

Rolling Stone has similar stories:
Country Music Reels From Dangerous Nashville Floods

Unique instruments with unique sounds are, of course, inseparable from the artists who play them in their relationship to musical heritage. Entire communities in Nashville now face floods that threaten the livelihood of artists, as well.

Guitar Center announced this week their own efforts to help with clean-up and recovery, and released information about resources which may help. The project, entitled “Operation High Ground,” includes a number of componments:

  • MusiCares will assist those in the Nashville area community to assist with emergency financial assistance. If you want to donate to the effort, you can visit a Guitar Center store or
  • Teams of specialists from Guitar Center and GC Pro will advise victims on gear repair and replacement; there’s a Tennessee hotline (877-687-5405) and rush shipment and distribution for those trying to purchase replacement gear in a hurry.
  • “Guitar Center has partnered with local Nashville FM radio station 104.5, The Zone, to help musicians rebuild their devastated communities. Beginning in May, for a six-week period, 104.5 will be holding live broadcasts from storm-damaged areas. Guitar Center representatives will be on-site to evaluate damaged gear and provide advice and assistance.”
  • A benefit concert with FM 103 WKDF and 3rd and venue Lindsley will raise money to “rebuild Music City.

Obviously, Guitar Center also wants to make sure they sell some gear here, but the repair and recovery efforts are real. And there is a chance to help artists in the community, and to save instruments. Listen to the NPR story above for a sense of how tenuous the repair effort is, albeit with some rays of hope.

Here’s more information on the MusiCares organization:

MusiCares: Providing emergency financial assistance to people in the music industry, they have the ability to help anyone in the music industry who was affected by the flooding. To be qualified you must have been in the music industry for at least five years. This includes tour bus drivers, writers, etc. The organization will help replace homes, music equipment, etc. Call Cortney Bailey at (615)
327-0050 or email at

If any readers in the CDM community have been impacted by the flood in Nashville or disasters in any part of the world, we’d like to hear your stories and do what we can to help. Do get in touch.