The "Back to School Snack Tour" was a concept that developed through
continuous brainstorming sessions while Conscious Alliance crisscrossed the
country from food drive to food drive in the summer of 2008. In early May,
while hosting a food drive at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chilicothe,
IL Conscious Alliance was asked to introduce Hot Buttered Rum¹s set, which
led to the introduction of Justin Levy and Nat Keefe (HBR¹s Guitarist).
After some thoughtful discussion, they both came to realize that the
missions of Conscious Alliance and Hot Buttered Rum complimented each other
well and that there was an incredible opportunity for the two to join
forces. The discussion ensued a few weeks later at the All Good Music
Festival in Masontown, West Virginia. Nat inquired if the band could assist
on a service project with Conscious Alliance following their early October
two-night Fox Theatre run in Boulder, CO. The idea of a service project on
the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was brought to the table and slowly
developed over the coming months through the combined efforts of both
organizations. The trip was to consist of Hot Buttered Rum performing three
assemblies at the Wolf Creek Tribal Elementary School where each student in
attendance would receive a shopping bag full healthy organic snacks.
Following a successful two-night run of food drives at the Fox Theatre, the
trip began with Hot Buttered Rum helping to load over ten thousand pounds of
healthy snacks into the Conscious Alliance truck destined for Pine Ridge,
South Dakota. All of the nutritious food used in this project was the result
of the generous donation of over 600,000 lbs of food by Whole Foods Market.
Also included in the delivery were much needed school supplies; graciously
donated by many local Boulder businesses, and collected by the Conscious
After five shows in as many days and a six-hour drive, Hot Buttered Rum
arrived on the Pine Ridge Reservation only to begin helping the Conscious
Alliance in the tedious task of making over 700 bags to be given out at the
school the next day. The band and their crew along with the Conscious
Alliance staff were then invited to attend a sweat lodge ceremony followed
by a traditional Lakota meal.
Tuesday morning began with the completion of the snack bags to be
distributed among the students of the Wolf Creek Tribal School. The band
then went to the local Pine Ridge radio station to do a live interview about
the project and their music. Following the interview, everyone headed to the
school to join the students for a lunch of fish sticks and mac n'cheese. The
rest of the day was devoted to music as Hot Buttered Rum filled the halls of
Wolf Creek with the sweet sounds of bluegrass. After each assembly, the
students exited the gymnasium where they received their healthy snack
bag from the Conscious Alliance box-truck. As the kids looked inside they
saw the chocolate covered almonds, fruit bars, granola, popcorn and more.
Their expressions of complete happiness were priceless. Some of the younger
students had to drag their bags away because they were so heavily laden with
The Conscious Alliance would like to thank the Hot Buttered Rum band and
crew for all of the time, energy and love that they put into this endeavor.
They are an amazing organization, of which each individual has tremendous
heart. Their passion for playing music and the joy that it brings them was
transmitted to the people of Pine Ridge. Many thanks, again, for all their
help in making this project a success!
This Film was produced, (filmed, arranged, & mixed) by FsM Multimedia Studios. The soundtrack features samples from HBR, as well as Phillip Whiteman Jr.
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