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A Song Of Tribute To The Lost Town Of Paradise

Nathaniel Smith and Miykael Goodwin have a band name now, Cold Weather Sons, and a professionally produced single, "One of These Days." The song is a lament for the town lost to the Camp Fire in 2018.
Nathaniel Smith and Miykael Goodwin have a band name now, Cold Weather Sons, and a professionally produced single, "One of These Days." The song is a lament for the town lost to the Camp Fire in 2018.

In the aftermath of the Camp Fire, two musicians from Paradise, Calif., wrote a tribute to their hometown which was destroyed by the fire. The song, called "One of These Days," quickly went viral online.

I can still remember the first time that I fell in love with this town. The tall green trees, the mountain breeze, the girl that made me shake in my knees. I'm going to miss it. I already miss it.

One of these days we're going to see the sunset rise in Paradise, one of these days we're gonna rebuild that church on the corner.

Now, Nathaniel Smith and Miykael Goodwin have released a professionally produced version to raise money for Camp Fire victims.

When Smith and Goodwin of Cold Weather Sons first wrote "One of These Days," they were just two guys on two acoustic guitars, one of them gifted to Smith after he lost everything in the Camp Fire.

Like others forced to evacuate, Smith got his first look at the rubble of his home just last week.

The 33-year-old tried his luck in Nashville for three years awhile back. "I was an assigned song writer there with Centricity Music," he says. But he eventually came back home when his music career didn't take off.

As word of his situation spread on social media, Smith heard from two-time, grammy-winning music producer Chuck Butler and from Joël Bruyere that a studio date awaited him and Goodwin if they could make it to Nashville. Goodwin's family came up with the airfare.

"It was really emotional for me because I haven't been back in nine or 10 years since I left," Smith said.

Despite the slick sound of the new track, Goodwin said the heart of the song is still there. "It's a fully produced track with drums and keyboards and electric guitars, but the vocals are the main point. It's about the message of the song, really," he said.

Miykael Goodwin feeling jazzed as he works on a professional studio production of "One of These Days" in Nashville.
/ Courtesy Cold Weather Sons
Miykael Goodwin feeling jazzed as he works on a professional studio production of "One of These Days" in Nashville.

Goodwin lives in Chico now, but he grew up in Paradise and said nearly all of his school buddies either lost their homes or know people who have. "Who knows what the future holds?" he said, although his hope is that the town will rebuild.

The men intend to donate the proceeds to Camp Fire victims once they meet with an accountant and figure out how.

Smith qualifies as a refugee. He's living with his dad in Chico now, and he's got a GoFundMe page up in hopes of raising enough money to buy an acoustic electric guitar for the benefit concerts they're preparing to perform at in the coming months.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Cold Weather Sons album cover.That backdrop is what's left of Nathaniel Smith's home in Paradise, Calif.
/ Courtesy Cold Weather Sons
Cold Weather Sons album cover.That backdrop is what's left of Nathaniel Smith's home in Paradise, Calif.