Music making a difference

By Ashley Ann Desrochers

Contributing Reporter

Switchfoot, Third Day, Jars of Clay, and Robert Randolph and the Family Band have come together for the Music Builds Tour, benefiting Habitat for Humanity and the One Campaign, an organization to globally fight AIDS and extreme poverty.

The bands launched their tour on Aug. 21, making the Detroit Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston their first stop.

“The Music Builds Tour is not your average tour. Third Day, Jars of Clay, Robert Randolph and us are not going to 25 cities to play music; we have come together for two causes bigger than ourselves,” said Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist of Switchfoot.

Just by attending the show, fans have already donated, because a dollar of every ticket goes to Habitat for Humanity.

“We want people to get involved,” said Third Day guitarist Mark Lee.

“During the tour, the bands are also going to be building three or four houses,” said Jars of Clay’s Charlie Lowell, piano, organ, accordion and keys player. The first house was built in Indianapolis on Aug. 22.

Foreman was eager to talk about past experiences he has hahad with Habitat for Humanity.

“When we go on builds, those days are my favorite days. They are incredibly rich. You get to learn a new skill, whether it’s laying tile or putting up siding, you’re working with your hands,” Foreman said.

“Beyond that you are meeting the people that you’re building the house for. You hear their stories while swinging hammers together. It’s incredible to know that the city you just visited is enriched,” Foreman said.

Robert Randolph explained that building houses is his passion.

“With the Music Builds Tour I’m killing two birds with one stone: I’m building houses and playing music,” he said.

 “In the past I’ve handed over a key to the new homeowner and it is the best feeling in the world,” Randolph said.

“One of the most powerful stories was this woman who lives in New Orleans who lost her house due to Hurricane Katrina. She was injured and had to have both of her legs amputated,” Foreman said.

“Her quote was ‘I walked out of my house in New Orleans and I am going to walk in this new house.’ She got prosthetic legs in order to do that. That kind of strength is not uncommon,” Foreman said.

“I needed help in the past, and I had people there for me and it’s just a chance to give back,” Foreman said.

The biggest message the tour brings is strength and diversity.