Starting in 2005, The Feel Good Tour was created to replace damaged classroom musical instruments after Hurricane Katrina. Since then. they held concerts, fund raisers, and donation drives for several schools effected by hurricanes and floods replaces thousands of instruments.
Back in September of 2005, Bill Hudson was out doing his recycling, and suddenly an idea hit him. He thought that it would be great if some musicians were to go down to Louisiana where Hurricane Katrina had just devastated the Gulf Coast.
When Bill gets these ideas, he likes to call some friends and bounce them off of them. He got in touch with Guy Nouri of Dragonfly.com and told him “Wouldn’t it be cool to go down to the devastated areas and play music for the people for free?” He just wanted to play music and let the healing power work it’s magic.
Guy said that he thought it was a great idea. Bill was happy to hear that. He sometimes worries about his ideas. Guy provided funding to help make the trip a possibility. Without Dragonfly.com, this would just have been a crazy idea. We all thank Guy Nouri for having the trust to support this even when there was no real plan.
As Guy and Bill talked up the idea, everyone thought it was a great idea. Bill contacted some of his friends and every one of them said that they would be interested in performing in that area. Fellow Roanoke Virginia musician Al Coffey joined Bill on his first trip, and has been going ever since!
As musicians, Bill and Al were struck with the power of what music does and how it heals. This is really what The Feel Good Tour is all about. If you have ever gone to a festival you might have experienced that the music on the main stages is great but there is much more fun to be had around the campfires afterwards. Well in a way, that is what this is, letting the music speak for itself and heal folks.
While Bill and Al were playing down in Louisiana, they realized another need in the area. They thought maybe they could come up with a way to get musical instruments to both individuals and schools that had been taken away from them by Hurricane Katrina.
“I am a native Texan and lost my home as a result of Hurricane Rita, which was one month after the horrific hurricane Katrina. During Rita, lightening struck one of our large trees and landed on our power line and we lost our home to fire. It took an entire year to rebuild our home, and the finished product is even better than it was pre-fire, but the trauma of losing everything was more than my 18 year old daughter could bear. She was never able to go back to our home site where she had been living since she was born, so I decided to sell the home and relocate. I am forwarding an essay she wrote for the church bulletin to thank our community for their help after the fire and in reading her essay you may find the feeling of gratitude that the thousands of Louisiana Katrina victims would extend to you if they knew how to contact you. You touched so many lives in such a positive way. Thank you!”
“Last year, you and your wonderful group of friends surprised us at St. Tammany Junior High with two generous donation trips. Our students were excited over the additional “much needed” instruments that you provided. In just a few weeks, the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be upon us. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you once again for your support during a most difficult time. I will cherish always the fond memories that I have of so many strangers that became instant friends and supporters following the devastation of the lady called Katrina. I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason. Perhaps this was her way of opening our doors, eyes, and hearts to so many people that might not have otherwise crossed out paths.”
Hannah D. Rucker, Director of Truancy – St. Tammany Junior High
Program Director: email: Bill Hudson