Soundcheck Nashville: The Flood Cleanup Begins

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Soundcheck_cleanup1.jpg
  • Photo: Eric England
You already know that Soundcheck, the music equipment storage facility down by the river, got soaked in the flooding, and that a lot of people lost a lot of music gear — not as bad as losing your home or your life, certainly, but definitely bad. Especially for people who earn their living making music.

Scene photographer Eric England and I went down to the facility on Friday to check it out, as people were given permission to start loading out their flood-damaged equipment that morning, or move it to another area of Soundcheck to dry out. When we got there, most of the "cartage clients" (i.e. big shots) had already been through. Mikee told us press were not allowed inside, but we could see from outside that it was a mess. Road cases dried in the parking lot; several power amps slouched out of their racks, draining in the afternoon sun. Tully Kennedy, who plays bass for Jason Aldean, was busy cleaning out his storage area. You'll notice he's wearing a mask.

I don't know what death smells like, exactly, but I imagine it's not far off from the stench of flood-soaked industrial parks after the toxic germ-balaya of silt, sewage and DuPont-only-knows-what slathers everything, then dries into a crust that flakes off and blows all over the place in noxious clouds. Within about 20 minutes I had the poop-dust equivalent of coke nose, and it did not feel good.

Soundcheck_cleanup2.jpg
  • Photo: Eric England

In the photo above you see the drawer of a road case, filled with water upon which float various packages for guitar strings and effects pedals.

Soundcheck_cleanup3.jpg
  • Photo: Eric England

View inside of the facility. Another nearby room was piled full of guitar cases; when we asked if we could take a look at any of them, the owner just shook his head solemnly and said, "No, man," in a way that said both "back off" and "I don't want to look in those again right now."

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