HEALING MUSIC: Songwriter tuning up to help bushfire victims
ELANORA singer-songwriter Mattie Barker has packed up his van, borrowed a generator and headed south to fire affected areas to offer musical healing to communities affected by the wild fires that have ravaged the East Coast.
He decided to do what he could to lift spirits in communities which are experiencing such unimaginable heartbreak the only way he knows how - through music.
"I was playing at a gig on the weekend and the news came on with the catastrophic
events that were unfolding, people were visibly traumatised so I broke into a Paul
Kelly song and everyone started crying and embracing each other," he said.
"I knew then I had to get on the road and play for those people in need."
Barker took to social media and asked for help to connect with the right people in the affected areas.
He said he was overwhelmed with the response from people willing to help and get behind his
musical crusade south.
"I have had offers to fit out my van, generators, food and people wanting to connect
me with remote communities, my first stop is Nymboida a small town near Grafton
who have suffered from the fires since September," he said.
Taking two weeks off playing paid gigs, Barker will begin his tour by performing two gigs at the Nymboida rowing club this Friday and Sunday, with a special tribute to bring joy to the children and families of the region.
His intentions are to keep travelling south and play as many gigs as possible to connect people to his love of music and the healing benefits of a song.
"I believe this is where the magic happens between strangers, the walls come down with music" he said.
Having played music all his life, Barker is a natural performer and has been a full-time
musician for the past 12 years.