To help raise cash for their campaign against mountaintop removal, the Natural Resources Defense Council is organizing a benefit concert featuring a large cast of supporting musicians.

Called "Music Saves Mountains", the one-night event on May 19 will rock out with performances by Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and special guests. The concert will take place at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

“The Appalachian Mountains are where country music was born,” said Frances Beinecke, president of NRDC. “NRDC is proud to be banding together with musical artists to raise national awareness of mountaintop removal and mobilize millions of Americans to end the most ecologically and culturally destructive strip mining on Earth.”

Earlier this month, Kathy Mattea led a rally in Frankfort, Ky., to celebrate "I Love Mountains Day" and to help raise awareness of the destruction caused by mountaintop removal for coal.

“Since learning about mountaintop removal, I’ve had a deep ache in the pit of my stomach, a deep yearning for these mountains I know so well and love so much,” said Mattea. “Everyone is scared," she said. “If my house has turned from a quiet sanctuary into a living nightmare, I am in deep anguish. On the other hand, if I have a decent job, and suddenly I’m going to be without a way to provide for my family, I am in deep anguish.”

Tickets for the event are $45, $75, $95 and $300 and will be available Friday, March 5 by phone, the Ryman box office, and NRDC also has a VIP ticket package including premium seating, back stage VIP cocktail party, artist meet and greet, limited-edition concert poster and gift bag.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Musicians rally to stop mountaintop removal
Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and others join concert to save mountains.