US Musicians Here To Visit Mine Victims

US musicians Sheryl Crow and Nanci Griffith arrived in Phnom Penh Sunday on a four-day tour of rehabilitation centers for the country’s land mine victims.

Organized by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, the musicians—part of a group of 15 making the trip—will visit rehabilitation centers in Phnom Penh and Preah Vihear province, Larrie Warren, country director of the foundation’s Cambodia program, said Sunday.

“Each year we try to bring out artists who have supported our work. It gives a first hand experience of what they are supporting,” said Warren.

Musicians such as Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Bruce Cockburn have visited Cambodia in the past with the VAAF.

Two of Crow’s biggest hits are “Leaving Las Vegas,” and “All I Wanna Do,” which won a Record of the Year Gram­my in 1994 .

Griffith is one of the most popular folk singers in the US. She’s also acclaimed for her covers of songs by a variety of artists from Woody Guthrie to Lyle Lovett. Griffith’s rendition of Julie Gold’s “From a Distance,” became a No 1 hit in Ireland.

Involved in anti-land mine campaigning in the US for three years, Crow said Sunday the purpose of her visit, which has already taken her to Vietnam, is to bring attention to the plight of war victims. “My hope… is to bring attention to the fact that 22 people a minute are being killed or maimed by land mines and people in the world, such as myself three or four years ago, didn’t even know what a land mine was,” the native of the rural town of Ken­nett in the US state of Missouri said in a brief interview at a Phnom Penh hotel. “It’s an infraction of human rights.”

Crow said she will record a new album when she returns to the US and this visit will be one of her inspirations. “I’ve really been thinking about what I want to write about and making a trip like this will definitely get [creative] molecules moving,” Crow said.

Crow said she doesn’t have plans to perform here but she noticed the popularity of karaoke in Phnom Penh and said she might give it a try. “It will depend on how much I drink, I guess.”

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