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Watching the devastation wrought by an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, most of us felt helpless in the face of the disaster.
But it wasn’t just grief and sympathy that washed over Tremayne Blair of Galax.
Instead, the contemporary gospel musician’s heart filled with a need to help his fellow man.
Within a couple of weeks following the tragedy, Blair had teamed with the American Red Cross and talked to a music distributor about turning one of his inspirational songs into a fundraiser for relief efforts in Japan.
So, Blair found himself in Brett Sexton’s Galax studio on a recent spring night recording his original song, “There’s Good Coming Out Of Your Situation,” for distribution through iTunes and other online sources.
He talked to independent music distribution company Disc Makers about his plans for the song and they got behind it. “It’s usually a 30- to 60-day process to get a song recorded and distributed. But they put a rush on it.”
Proceeds from the song’s purchase and from other related merchandise on Blair’s website will go to the Galax-based Woods River Chapter of the American Red Cross, which will see that it ends up going to relief efforts.
“It’s a song of encouragement and hope,” Blair said. “It says that, no matter what you’re going through, don’t focus your eyes on it for too long. Look past it, and the good that can come out of it.”
Blair has performed the song many times at his concerts locally and around the region, where audiences connect with it on a deep emotional level.
It’s special to him, too, reflecting his struggles to launch a musical career and follow the path he feels God has set before him.
Blair has been working on his debut CD, “Only The Beginning,” for a couple of years, and had to put it on hold for a while. (He’s currently working at Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville.)
“I realized that I started out doing this to get Tremayne attention,” he says. “And God put a halt to it. It was a period of personal and spiritual growth for me. I turned it all over to Him and the doors just started opening.”
He’s back at work in the studio and hopes to have the CD released through his website, tremayneblair.com, by late spring.
T-shirts and other Tremayne Blair merchandise are for sale through the site, created by Cafe Press. A portion of those proceeds will go to the Japan relief effort, too.
It may seem odd for a musician in Southwest Virginia to feel so strongly about helping people in another culture living thousands of miles away, but Blair said God put the mission in his heart.
It fits well with his goal of cultural, spiritual and racial unity.
The vision statement on his website reads: “To unite all ethnic and denominational backgrounds into a body of one. God won’t separate us in Heaven so we shouldn’t be separated on Earth.”
Blair says he’d love to perform his song live for the Japanese people, and he’s networking with other artists through his agency, MaineStreet Management, to bring other musicians into the project.
“I’d love to see it grow. I’d love to raise $1 million for those people through this song,” he says. “Let’s come together and do our part. God would never leave nor forsake us, so let’s not do it to these victims, either.”