Local two-piece act Lung is preparing for the digital release of its album benefitting victims of Hurricane Irma titled “In the Key of West.” The three-song album will be available on iTunes and SoundCloud. No strangers to hit music, the husband and wife duo of Chris and Ric Chandler have also enlisted the help of former bandmates and musicians from bands like Bone Rubbers, Modern English and Duran Duran. Grammy award-winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge is mixing the track. Some of Lord-Alge’s collaborations include The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rage Against The Machine.
The Tavernier-based act hopes the digital release will prompt music lovers to aid hurricane victims by later purchasing physical versions. Lung is raising the money needed, via Go Fund Me, to produce the album’s first 5,000 copies, and plans to work with local churches to donate a majority of the sales to victims.
The two musicians, however, almost ended up victims themselves.
Just two days before Hurricane Irma hit the Keys, the Chandlers arrived in Fort Lauderdale from a month-long trip in Europe. Still getting over jet lag, they turned on the television to see what the weather was going to be like for a potential beach day. Their plans quickly changed.
“We called our friends and asked what we should do. They told us it was the real deal, and told us to leave, so we drove down, packed up everything and our two cats, and left,” said Chris.
Thirty-six agonizing hours later, the two found themselves in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
“We have always been fans of delta blues, so it was actually a dream to end up in Clarksdale,” said Chris. “We arrived in a room that we rented out for two nights. It was an old barber shop that was remodeled from the 1930s, so there was really some soul to this place.”
After settling in, the two decided to venture out into the city separately. When they returned, each had brought back an idea. Within a few hours they had written the song “Clarksdale.”
Once the storm passed, it was time to go home. It was on the drive back that the Chandlers started brainstorming ways to help out. Using their musical talents to help the community only made sense, and that’s when Ric remembered a song he had previously started but never finished, called “In the Key of the West.”
The song, which had a melody and hook already written, was meant to be an homage to driving through the island chain, said Ric. Along with “Clarksdale,” the couple said the two songs best represent how they felt following the hurricane. Along with a Spanish version of “In the Key of West,” Lung plans on bundling the three tracks and retailing the album for $5.
Ric’s former Modern English bandmate, Mick Conroy, Dom Brown of Duran Duran, and Takumi Iida joined the star-studded lineup of rockers and recorded “In the Key of West.” Guitarist Phil Bonin and bassist Phil Rubio of Bone Rubbers also teamed up on the project to record instrumentals for “Clarksdale.” Local artist Megan Jones created custom album artwork for the digital release, and the band has recruited Dennis Holmes to direct and produce a music video for the track. Filming for the video could start as early as March. To support Lung’s “In the Key of West,” album release visit gofundme.com/Irma-single.