Pittsburgh musicians produce Tree of Life tribute song
The song was written in a day.
Joe Wodarek, a lead singer for the local band The Stickers, says as fast as he could text other musicians to write a Tree of Life song, the affirmative answers came back. An all-star ensemble of nearly 40 Pittsburgh musicians came together with a message of unity and strength after the Oct. 27 shooting inside Tree of Life Congregation.
“The day after it happened, I knew I wanted to do something,” says Wodarek, a Brookline native, who wrote the song “Stand Together,” with band mate and guitarist Mike Ofca. “I told my wife I needed to do something. ‘Stand Together.’ When you are writing music you try to create a vision and in this song, the vision was clear. Music heals so it was natural just to sit down and start writing. And the song pretty much wrote itself.
“We wanted to offer something to help Pittsburgh heal.”
The response was overwhelming, Wodarek says. Artists of all ages were quick to participate including Scott Blasey of The Clarks, Chris Jamison, runner-upon NBC’s “The Voice,” Joe Grushecky, Hermie Granati, Clinton Clegg of The Commonheart, Jon Belan of “Gene The Werewolf,” Johnny Angel and Bubba of Johnny Angel and the Halos, Edward Gray of the Shondells, Devon Johnson of Ruff Creek, Jeff Jimerson and others.
They recorded the song at Ofca’s studio, Innovation Studios, in Steubenville, Ohio.
“They did a really nice job with the song,” Blasey says. “It’s an amazing song and it holds up in its ability to accommodate a bunch of singers. That’s a tough task when you have a lot of voices. The lyrics are powerful and they hit home. It was a moving experience and I am honored to be a part of it.”
The group will perform “Stand Together” during the 38th annual WPXI Holiday Parade on Nov. 24 in Downtown, Pittsburgh.
“Stand Together” T-shirts are also available for purchase. Proceeds from the shirts and the song, which is available for digital download, will go directly to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Victims of Terror Fund.
“The musicians in Pittsburgh are a pretty special bunch,” Wodarek says. “I am grateful to know them and to work with them on this song. When we all arrived at the studio we hugged. We all feel this pain.”
JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or email@example.com or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.