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LI's Blameshift fights for music education in schools

Great Neck's Blameshift -- bassist Mike LaRoche, guitarist-vocalist

Great Neck's Blameshift -- bassist Mike LaRoche, guitarist-vocalist Tim Barbour, singer Jenny Mann and drummer Jeff Maurer -- will record a new single this summer with Godsmack producer Erik Ron. Credit: Wayne Herrschaft

Blameshift is used to making an impact.

The Great Neck rockers, led by singer Jenny Mann and guitarist-singer Tim Barbour, have built a name for themselves with more than a decade of albums, near-constant touring and through their guitar string jewelry company Strung. But last month, they went after a new audience: politicians.

Mann and Barbour were part of the National Association of Music Merchants’ annual lobbying effort in May to convince Congress to work to fund music education in public schools, meeting with both New York senators and several area congressmen.

“I don’t know anything about lobbying,” Mann says, laughing. “But I wanted to learn.  It felt good to be part of something.”

Mann says she told the politicians about how much music education helped her life, but also offered evidence from scientific studies to back it up. “With so many bad things happening in schools, this could help,” she says. “It’s a release.”

Mann says Blameshift will continue to work for music education in schools, donating 5 percent of all Strung sales to the cause. However, their main focus remains making music, something they plan to do this summer, recording a new single with Godsmack producer Erik Ron and playing the first three shows of the final Vans Warped Tour in California.

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