Being Good To The Be Good Tanyas Member

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Given her status as one of the most prominent and popular members of Canada's roots music community, it should come as no surprise that Samantha Parton of The Be Good Tanyas is now being assisted by that scene in her time of need. She has been facing serious medical and fiscal challenges after a car accident on Salt Spring Island, BC, on Sept. 3, 2012 and close friend and fellow musician Kori Miyanishi has launched a crowd-funding campaign for her.

The Be Good Tanyas — which reunited last year after a four-year hiatus — have been touring behind a career retrospective album called Collection, comprised of songs from their three studio albums, 2001’s breakthrough Blue Horse, 2003’s Chinatown and 2006’s Hello Love, and a couple of new tracks. But Parton, who plays guitar, mandolin and banjo, as well as sings in the group, is unable to join them in the U.K. for a two-week tour starting Aug. 26. Fellow Vancouverite Caroline Ballhorn will be standing in for her.

According to information on the Indiegogo site, Parton "sustained multiple injuries to her neck, back and shoulders, as well as a concussion.

“Since then, recovery has proved to be a long and challenging road. Physiotherapy, chiropractic, and massage treatments are ongoing. In November 2012, Samantha made a valiant effort to participate in touring, but traveling and performing proved to be too physically, mentally and emotionally demanding... She has had to make the difficult decision not to return to touring and performing until she is fully recovered....Another car accident this past April compounded her existing injuries."

Yet another setback came when an MRI revealed an aneurysm behind Parton’s left eye, one large enough to require cranial surgery.That surgery was scheduled for July 22 in Vancouver, but has now been rescheduled for July 29.

The Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to cover Parton's living expenses during her period of recuperation. "The monies generated from the campaign are 100 percent for Sam's living costs, such as rent, food and bills," explains Lexani Llaguno, director of lifestyle & Canadian marketing at Nettwerk Music Group, The Be Good Tanyas’ record label.

Miyanishi, who instigated the campaign, tells Samaritanmag "I'd been seeing Sam around throughout the year since her accident. At one point it dawned on me, ‘You're a musician. You can't work and you can't tour right now.'  She explained she had all these medical costs out of pocket until the insurance claim gets sorted out. I thought, 'Why not start a campaign?'"

Parton was initially reluctant, says Miyanishi. "She hasn't really mentioned anything about her situation until very recently. She was keeping it very private. She is very humble, and has largely been dealing with this on her own. At the same time, she is very warm and community-oriented. My thought was 'You've given a lot to the world. If people knew what was happening, they'd be very willing to help you out.' She finally said okay."

The results have been rapid and impressive. The campaign was launched July 22 and a day later $7,000 of the initial goal of $10,000 had already been raised. "That has been primarily through the Be Good Tanyas Facebook page and through other friends who have started to share the link. The other media outlets are climbing on board, so it is just going to grow," says Miyanishi.

According to the Indiegogo page, "Our goal is to raise $15,000 over the course of two campaigns this year to help Sam through this difficult time."

Formerly with folkfest favourites Dyad, Miyanishi is fully aware of the challenges faced by musicians in a situation like Parton's. "I know they don't have extended medical benefits or sick days or what most people have with their day jobs. When you are not working, you don't get paid. It is the touring that brings the money. Not being able to do that means she doesn't have an income, and it has been very difficult for her."

Miyanishi reports Parton is "overwhelmed" at this outpouring of affection and money. "She told me this morning she feels so much better about going for the operation now, seeing that so many people are concerned for her. She is pretty optimistic anyway, and is handling it well, but this response is making it much better."

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.