Ozark native Israel Nash Gripka has announced the release of Missouri, a collection of new and original songs written and inspired by the tragedy of May 22nd when a tornado destroyed 1/3 of Joplin, MO and killed more than 100 people.
"The emotional and physical destruction endured by those residents of Joplin, MO is nothing less than a tragedy," says Gripka. "My aim is to promote hope through the power of song and to raise money for the victims, the city of Joplin, and the continued efforts that must be done." Donate $5 and receive a link to download Missouri.
All proceeds from the EP will go to the "United for Joplin" campaign by Heart of Missouri United Way to benefit tornado victims in Joplin. "Having lived most of my life in the Ozarks, I have always recognized the spirit of generosity and community that people have there," says Gripka. "Living in New York and not being able to physically help has been tough. I wanted to get involved and thought the best thing that I could give would be my songs."
The three song EP features two brand new songs and one from his latest album Barn Doors & Concrete Floors that was released earlier this year. "Bellwether Ballad (Oh Missouri)" from Barn Doors & Concrete Floors and "Mystic River" and "These Days Rejoice These Days" showcases Gripka's deep affection for his Missouri roots and thoughtful reflection during this emotional time. "With the continued dedication of people helping people, tomorrow will always come," says Gripka.
"When disaster strikes, whether near or far, it affects us all," said Tim Rich, executive director of the Heart of Missouri United Way. "The devastating Joplin tornado yesterday has impacted the Heart of Missouri United Way as well. Brent Beshore, board member, was born and raised in Joplin. Four of his close friends have lost everything in this disaster and countless others have been affected. Heart of Missouri United Way is mobilizing to provide desperately needed relief and we need your help!"
Gripka recently released his sophomore album, Barn Doors & Concrete Floors, building on the success of his debut release, New York Town (2009). He continues to increase his fan base both stateside and abroad. Multiple tours in the US and Europe and growing recognition as a songwriter have left Gripka with renewed passion. Harkening back to the days of Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Gripka presents a musical experience that is both old and new. In an almost conflicting manner, he uses his upbringing as the son of a southern Baptist minister to contrast the realities of his life through music. His songs are stories and reflections that kick like classic Rock N' Roll all while pining with the heart of Americana roots.