The Nell & Jim Band Spearheads Fundraising For Musicians Who Lost Homes, Instruments In NorCal’s Camp Fire

San Francisco, CA (December 10, 2018)

In the aftermath of Northern California’s deadly Camp Fire which claimed the lives of 88 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes, the critically acclaimed NorCal-based Nell & Jim Band are raising funds to help local musicians replace instruments lost in the blaze. 

“It was hard to know what to do as we watched the fire consume this beautiful area with so many musicians’ homes and instruments,” says Nell Robinson, a “modern-day Patsy Cline” (SF Guardian) who leads the band alongside GRAMMY-recognized musician Jim Nunally. 

“Supporting music and our roots community has always been important to us, but we are especially concerned about the terrible loss of life, homes and musical instruments from the fires,” adds Jim. “Musicians have lost not only their means to earn income, but also the solace and joy that comes from pouring their hearts into music on beloved instruments. Music heals, and we’re hoping to provide a bit of light during this dark time for our community.”

The alt-roots band — known for its nostalgic “earthiness” (Billboard) and “intelligent lyrics” (KYAC Radio) — raised $10,000 to launch the “Music Around The Campfire Fund” at KZFR in Chico, Calif., which aims to put instruments back into the hands of local artists affected by the disaster.

A benefit concert held this week at a private home in Berkeley — one of many fundraising events scheduled to help affected musicians get back on their feet — brought in over $3,000. Additionally, the band has raised another $10,000 for KZFR. 

“We contacted KZFR first thing to check on whether they had a good network to identify people in need, and of course the DJs had been in close touch with folks,” Nell explains. “While we recognize that our efforts are small in the face of such great need, we want our community to know that we are here to do all we can to help out.” Donate to the “Music Around The Campfire Fund” through KZFR.

To date, their efforts have raised upwards of $60,000, with more donations incoming.

The Nell & Jim Band are also working with the California Bluegrass Association to raise awareness about the CBA’s Instruments for Fire Survivors GoFundMe campaign launched to aid bluegrass musicians affected by the Butte Area disaster. The campaign has raised more than $43,000 of its $50,000 goal thus far.  Donate to the GoFundMe campaign.

“The CBA and many other Bay Area musicians are organizing benefits. As KZFR general manager Rick Anderson told us, musicians are always the first to come to the aid of the greater community — we are inspired by our friends, and hope that people outside the Bay Area will pitch in,” adds Nell. “Every little bit counts.”

Rallying support for their California community is nothing new for the environmentally-focused Americana band, whose 2013 album House & Garden contained a plant-able insert card infused with wildflower seeds. In 2017, through their Music Home Fund (which awards annual grants to music-related causes), Nell & Jim provided grants to Santa Rosa, Calif. musicians and DJs in the wake of the devastating Tubbs Fire.

The Nell & Jim Band is Nell Robinson (flute, vocals), two-time Western Open Flatpicking Guitar champion Jim Nunally (guitar, vocals), Jim Kerwin (bass fiddle), Jon Arkin (percussion), and Rob Reich (accordion and keys).

suzanne sarto