Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ozark Native Israel Nash Gripka Releases New EP for Joplin, MO Tornado Victims

Donate $5 TODAY and Receive the 3 Song EP Missouri
All Donations go to the "United for Joplin" Campaign by 
Heart of Missouri United Way

On May 22, 2011, a tornado destroyed 1/3 of Joplin, MO and killed more than 100 people. The survivors need assistance to rebuild.  In an effort to help, singer/songwriter and Ozark native Israel Nash Gripka announced today the release of Missouri, a collection of new and original songs written and inspired by the tragedy. 
"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. Click HERE to donate today.

"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.

For more information about Israel Nash Gripka, visit

About United for Joplin Fund:
On Monday, May 23, 2011 the Heart of Missouri United Way (HMUW) established the United for Joplin Tornado Relief fund to benefit survivors of the Joplin tornado disaster.  By 10am that day, the Joplin, Mo Tornado Recovery Facebook page (established by a Board Member) had 40,000+ followers.  By Thursday, May 26, more than 170,000 followers and had raised more than $1 million in support.  United Way Worldwide designated HMUW as the Joplin Tornado Relief Fund of the United Way system.  Sam’s Club Foundation provided a $200,000 gift to the fund to help small businesses in Joplin recover long-term.  The story and effort has been published worldwide both online and through traditional media outlets including Oprah Winfrey, Huffington Post, CNN, The New York Times, the L.A. Fox News affiliate, National Public Radio and many more through Twitter and Facebook.  Heart of Missouri United Way is sending its executive director to Joplin on June 1 to forge partnerships with reputable relief organizations in an effort to provide fast, efficient and responsible distribution of the funds for service to people in need.  Key partners include the United Way of Southeast Missouri & Eastern Kansas, Rebuild Joplin, Joplin Business Recovery Center and the Greater Joplin Chamber of Commerce.  Heart of Missouri United Way has pledged that 100% of donations will go to serve the people of Joplin and has waived all administrative and overhead fees, credit card and text-to-give transactions fees (normally paid by HMUW).

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