GRAMMY-nominated producer & recording artist Butch Walker has teamed up with Nashville-based non-profit organization The Nikki Mitchell Foundation to launch the Autumn Leaves Project.
The Autumn Leaves Project is a nationwide effort dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer, founded in honor of Walker’s late father, Butch Walker, Sr. The Autumn Leaves Project will work in conjunction with the Nikki Mitchell Foundation to help find a cure and offer support to individuals and their families affected by pancreatic cancer, in particular the overwhelming number of musicians and artists who are battling this disease and do not have access to proper healthcare. In addition to donations, those who want to support the Autumn Leaves Project will have the chance to purchase a special-edition t-shirt from Butch Walker on his current US tour for which part of the proceeds will benefit ALP.
“Pancreatic Cancer doesn’t give you a chance to reconcile with it, doesn’t let you make plans sometimes, or prepare for the ending it just usually sneaks up on you and gives you no warning until its too late. We need better programs for pre-screening, we need more affordable alternatives to the methods and drugs that are out there to cope once its diagnosed, and most importantly we’ve got to find a cure for it,” states Walker.
Nikki Mitchell was the longtime friend and manager of country music legend Waylon Jennings. Before her death of pancreatic cancer in 2013, she challenged the music community to shine a light on the need for research, by creating in the final weeks of her life, her vision for the foundation. Supporters of NMF include Jamey Johnson, Keith Urban, Shooter Jennings, and Jessie Colter, along with The Pen Fund, a project of NMF, founded by Suzi Cochran and Booth Calder (whose late husband/father Songwriter Hall Of Fame member, Hank Cochran also had Pancreatic Cancer).
“Nikki was larger than life and she lived everyday making those around her feel like nothing is impossible. We carry that legacy into our mission at NMF by fighting for the cure to the disease that has affected so many in and out of the music industry,” states Nikki Mitchell Foundation President, Rhonda Miles.
By partnering together, the Autumn Leaves Project and The Nikki Mitchell Foundation are putting the need for pancreatic cancer research on the map, and expanding their efforts to find a means for early detection and the ultimate cure for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is expected to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer death by 2020. Research for the disease currently receives only 2% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget. 94% of those diagnosed do not live beyond 5 years.
As Walker states, “It’s time for us to deal with it.”
Walker is also headlining a full North American tour that started last week and runs through mid-June including tomorrow’s show at The New York Society for Ethical Culture (May 5), and three sold out dates in Los Angeles at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Walker is touring with Dallas die-hard Jonathan Tyler as well as the gorgeous harmonies of The Dove & The Wolf. A full list of dates is below.
Butch Walker released his highly anticipated seventh full-length album Afraid Of Ghosts via Dangerbird Records last month to a massive response. The album debuted at #1 on the Top New Artist chart as well as in the Billboard Top 200. Afraid of Ghosts was met with critical acclaim upon release: Esquire praised its “bright, acoustic driven tunes,” Relix called it “a deeply personal, affectingly lovely album,” and Billboard noted that it was “tender and lovingly constructed.”
To learn more about the Autumn Leaves Project visit www.autumnleavesproject.org