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Jason Samel gathers musical forces against fracking

Great Neck's Jason Samel has gathered songs from

Great Neck's Jason Samel has gathered songs from Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Merchant, the Indigo Girls and more for his new fundraising compilation "Buy This Fracking Album." Credit: Andrew Werner

Jason Samel believes in the power of music as an information tool.

The Great Neck singer-songwriter saw that power firsthand when he put together the "Occupy This Album" compilation in 2012, landing artists ranging from Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams to Tom Morello and Mogwai. He hopes to have similar success with his new compilation, "Buy This Fracking Album" (Movement Music), which will be released June 23 and feature songs from Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Merchant, the Indigo Girls and many more artists, including Samel himself.

Proceeds from the album and the release party Tuesday at Brooklyn Bowl, featuring Marco Benevento & Dave Dreiwitz, Michael Glabicki, DJ Logic and others, will go toward grassroots efforts to curb fracking, the drilling practice that injects water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to break up rock formations that release natural gas and oil. Though fracking is used throughout the country, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo banned the practice in New York last year over concerns about the health risks.

"Cuomo made that decision because of activists' work," Samel says. "We want to start that conversation in the musicians' community."

For "Buy This Fracking Album," Samel says he was very selective about the artists chosen for the two-CD compilation. "As an artist, you can't just hand me a track," he says. "I need you to be involved."

He says he also wanted a wide range of artists. "We want folks that people wouldn't necessarily expect," he says. "We want to get in the ears of new listeners, of people who have never heard of fracking."

The "Buy This Fracking Album" release party is at 6 p.m. June23 at Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, 718-963-3369, Tickets are $15-$30.

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