Be True

So here's the thing. I've talked about this a lot. In the last years, I have discovered that as I stay truer to my convictions, my beliefs and what I know is right, things go well for me.

I've embraced being a true, sing-along-leading folk singer, I've embraced that I want to help kids on a reservation learn music, I've embraced that I want people to be kind to one another, and look at what's happened:

  • I opened for Pete Seeger, I shared the stage with Dar Williams, Peter Yarrow, and many others, just because I committed to my musical calling.
  • People from around the country have sent guitars, strings, picks, guitar stands, just because they too want to help kids on the Cheyenne River Reservation learn music.
  • The Just Be Nice Party is becoming a real party. Thousands of people have joined the movement, and we are in the planning stages for our first music festival to push the movement forward. Turns out a lot of people want to be kind.

All of these things have happened, are happening and will happen.

That's a pretty great public service announcement for staying true to you!

So, I'll just add to that list a little bit.

We've fought fracking in Connecticut, especially the dumping of toxic fracking waste in our water. People came together, spoke up to our governor, and legislation happened. By taking a stand and getting involved, I'm now included on a list of amazing musicians, songwriters and performers, and together we've put together a compilation album to raise awareness on the dangers of fracking.

I'm on an album with the Indigo Girls for goodness sake.

So there you have it. Be true to you. If you've been waiting for proof, if you've been waiting for confirmation, please let this story and this evidence persuade you to follow your true path and passion. The world really needs you.

Love, Kristen


John Butler Trio, Bonnie Raitt, Pete Seeger, and more stand against fracking on ‘Buy This Fracking Album,’ 6.16

John Butler Trio, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Franti, Indigo Girls, and many more are lending their voices in an effort to shed light on the dangers of hydro-fracking - a method of extracting natural gas from the earth’s shale that also jeopardizes and contaminates the water table - on a 24 track, two disc benefit compilation, 'Buy This Fracking Album' (June 16th). The album proceeds will benefit Marcellus Protest, a non profit organization in Pennsylvania, and other grassroots organizations around the country working to ban fracking. Album beneficiary Food & Water Watch is donating its share of the proceeds into a fund that album producers will distribute to grassroots organizations. Many of the artists who have contributed songs to the album have openly voiced their opposition to fracking, with arguments ranging from the desire to champion community health, combat the corporate hold on American democracy, or - in the words of singer Kristen Graves - “I want future generations to have an example of what it looks like to live humbly, respectfully, and well with the earth.”

Watch the official album trailer here.

‘Buy This Fracking Album’ contains a combination of original recordings, previous releases, and live renditions of older songs.  The compilation includes Pete Seeger's first album appearance since his passing - a never before released live rendition of Woody Guthrie's classic “This Land Is Your Land" - “Hell to Pay” by Bonnie Raitt from her ’94 album ‘Longing in Their Hearts,' a live version of the Indigo Girls' “World Falls,” and original recordings from Meshell Ndegeocello (“Never Still Water”), Marco Benevento and Dave Dreiwtiz (“Freakin Frack”), and more.

While the songs on the album range in genre and subject, they all share the common goal of bringing awareness to one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.  Each of the 24 tracks speak to the fact that - as contributor Anti Flag says - “[corporations] can’t drink money, and we can’t drink natural gas.” Michael Franti says he wrote "Earth From Outer Space," "as a reminder of the importance of all of us being stewards of our planet, keeping it healthy for the next generations” and Bonnie Raitt - a founding member of Musicians United for Safe Energy - added, "banning fracking everywhere is one of the most critical environmental issues of our time because it destroys our water, our communities and our planet.”  As Rusted Root's Michael Glabicki explains, banning fracking is "not a matter of politics or money - it’s just a matter of common sense that you don’t destroy the earth like fracking does.”

‘Buy This Fracking Album’s’ Long Island-based producer Jason Samel is, in his own words, "not one to close [his] mouth much about anything” - a trait that led him to realize early in his career that he did not fit into the corporate world.  When Occupy Wall Street began in September 2011, Samel was thrilled to see “activism in his backyard,” and joined protesters at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.  In the park, Samel was moved by different types of music converging together for a singular cause, and left feeling inspired to create his first benefit album - ‘Occupy This Album.’  Through a series of connections and introductions he made during the movement, as well as support from filmmaker Michael Moore, Samel produced a four-disc album featuring “99 songs for the 99 percent,” with music by Jackson Browne, Warren Haynes, Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono, Immortal Technique, and Arlo Guthrie.  It also was during his time at Zuccoti park that Samel took notice of the anti-fracking movement, and began laying the foundation for what would eventually become his second benefit album and the follow-up to ‘Occupy This Album’ - 'Buy This Fracking Album.’

Funding for the album is being raised through a crowd-funding campaign on Pledge Music, which allows fans to show their support by purchasing unique items and experiences, including concert tickets, a signed guitar, VIP tickets with a meet and greet with Bonnie Raitt, a one of a kind hand painted guitar from Michael Franti, DJ lessons with DJ Logic, and Marco Benevento will even play a concert in your home.

‘Buy This Fracking Album’ - Tracklist:

Disc 1: 1. “Smallest Trees” - Rootz Underground 2. “Freakin Frack” - Marco Benevento and Dave Dreiwitz 3. “Smarty Pants” - Rusted Root 4. “Earth From Outer Space (Acoustic)” - Michael Franti 5. “Activist” - Jay Samel w/ DJ Logic and Friends 6. “Revolution” - John Butler Trio 7. “Russel Crowe” - Moon Hooch 8. “Never Still Water” - Meshell Ndegeocello 9. “Gasland Terror” - Anti Flag 10. “Seasons” - Rebel Diaz 11. “Hydro Fracking Clowns” - Chris Merenda 12. “Fools Gold” - Pony Boy

Disc 2: 1. “This Land is Your Land (Live At Farmaid 2013)” - Pete Seeger 2. "Before the Drilling Rigs Got Here” - Thom Chacon 3. “Lack of Cash Flow Blues” - David Amram 4. “Drill on the Horizon” - Mike and Ruthy 5. “Motherland (Live)” – Natalie Merchant and The Felice Brothers 6. “The Mountain” - Steve Earle 7. “Down There” - Tom Chapin and John Forster 8. "The River Song” - Kristen Graves 9. “Hell to Pay” - Bonnie Raitt 10. “World Falls (Live)” - Indigo Girls 11. "What About Climate Change” - Eve Silber 12. “Star Spangled Banjo” - Josh Fox