Thanks to the community's generosity, Sudbury band Murder Murder will be heading back out on the road in February.
In November, the band's 12-passenger van and trailer were destroyed in one-vehicle crash in Saskatchewan during a tour of western Canada.
The vehicle hit black ice, skidded off the road and rolled. Fortunately, the van's seven passengers walked away mostly unscathed.
An Indiegogo campaign to help the band recover raised more than $14,000. A fundraising concert brought in even more funds.
In total, $18,578.09 was donated to the band, known for its brand of murder-ballad-inspired music known as “bloodgrass.”
“All the support from everybody has been unbelievable and really humbling,” said Geoff McCausland, the band's fiddle player.
He said the funds went towards the cost of getting the band back to Sudbury after the accident and purchasing a new vehicle and trailer.
“We've been working with Gerry Lecuyer over at Midas,” McCausland said. “He owns the Long Lake and the Barrydowne Midas locations. He's been unbelievable. He's absolutely had our back through the whole thing.
“He called us while we were in Saskachewan, stranded there. He said 'Don't worry for two seconds, boys. I'm going to find you a vehicle. I'm going to figure it out.”
Thanks to Lecuyer, they found and purchased a 2005 Yukon Denali XL — the only SUV big enough to accommodate the whole band — as well as studded winter tires. They also bought a trailer off of Kijiji.
“If you're going to make a go at being a travelling band, you can't confine your touring to the summer,” said Jon Danyliw, who performs vocals, guitar and mandolin with the band.
“So it definitely is comforting to know that we'll have a vehicle that does have all-wheel drive, aggressive tires and a towing capacity so that pulling a trailer in the winter will be a less scary endeavour.
“We rolled the dice a lot of times in the past, touring in the winter. We got away with it, until we didn't anymore. So the last one was sort of a kick in the pants.”
Murder Murder now plans to head back out on the road in about a week, playing shows in Toronto and Kansas City.
It would have been impossible to go on touring without the donations, said Sam Cassio, who also performs vocals, guitar and mandolin with Murder Murder.
“It would have crippled us to have to come up with that kind of money,” he said. “It's allowing us to do what we do.”