As you may have heard, I recently had the unexpected honour of having some of my best friends and musical heroes make a tribute album to The Burning Hell. I’ve never experienced anything even remotely like the incredible feeling of hearing my own songs interpreted by Mike O’Neill, Dave Bidini, Dan Mangan, Construction & Destruction, Great Lake Swimmers, John K Samson and so many more outstanding artists. This is undoubtedly the nicest gift I’ve ever received.
On top of all that, people all over the world have responded by buying the album, and I’ve been thinking hard about what to do with the money. I’m happy to say that I’ve figured it out: all the profits generated from sales of My Name Is Mathias will be donated, bi-annually, to the Kingston Humane Society.
Why? The most important reason is that the album was conceived by my friends as a way to cheer me up after my mom passed away in April, and the KHS was an organization that she supported ever since we moved to Kingston way back in 1989. It wasn’t long after we arrived that she started coming home with the first of many dogs and cats that she adopted or fostered from KHS over the years. She encouraged me to volunteer there as well, and I spent many surprisingly happy childhood hours cleaning out litter boxes and walking dogs. I moved away from Kingston in the late 90s, but my mom remained a loyal friend of the KHS and the animals they care for for the rest of her life.
(That’s Ivy, above, who has been recently adopted from KHS)
So I think it’s fitting that this album should generate money for the KHS, and I think my mom would approve. The KHS has been around for 130 years, and it’s what’s called an ‘open shelter’, meaning that they take in every single animal that comes their way, no matter what. Moreover, they don’t receive any funding at all – they rely entirely on donations to do what they do.
And they do so much. For example, in just five months in 2013, they received over one thousand cats – a thousand cats! Can you imagine feeding and cleaning up after a thousand cats, trying to reunite them with their owners or finding new homes for them? Well, that’s the kind of thing they do, all the time.
So if you’d like to help the Kingston Humane Society do their work, they would welcome a donation here.
If you’d like to donate by purchasing a digital copy of My Name Is Mathias, you can do that here.
If you’d like to pre-order the CD (it will ship out in the first week of December) you can do that here.
Immeasurable thanks are due to Headless Owl Records, Nick Ferrio and Jud Haynes for making all this happen, as well as to all of the artists that contributed their time and love to the project. We’ll be sending all the proceeds from sales of My Name Is Mathias to the KHS twice a year, in December and June, as a donation in memory of my amazing mother, Mary Beth Kom. She taught me that we’re only one of the kinds of animals on this little planet, and we could all be much better friends to the rest of them.