Bank invests in Local bands

It is often said that everyone in Lawrence is in a band or knows someone in a band.

Apparently, that also includes those in the banking profession.

Several employees at Central National Bank started comparing notes about their extracurricular musical lifestyle and soon began kicking around ideas of how that artistry could fit into their day jobs.

The resulting program, Music for Life, allows anyone in Lawrence who opens an account with the bank to pick from more than 170 local songs and create their own CD.

“Most of the bands we’ve signed up have been pretty excited about it,” says Aaron Urban, a representative of Central National Bank.

Based on a similar program created by a banking organization in Washington state, “Music for Life” gives customers at its downtown branch access to a kiosk where the songs can be listened to for free. But the new-account program is available at any of the bank’s six locations in Lawrence.

“People don’t necessarily have time when they’re opening a new account, so we have little ticket stubs that take them to the Web site,” Urban explains. “There’s a code on the ticket stub that lets them listen to the music (online) on their own time. Then they enter this code and it allows them to pick the songs they like. It e-mails the playlist to me, then I create the CD for them.”

Bands will be reimbursed 25 cents for each song downloaded.

A concert will kick off the program officially at 8 p.m. today at The Granada, 1020 Mass. Artists performing include Ten Hour Drive, HARDcharlie, Red Guitar and Dylan Paul – all of whom have downloadable material. KLZR morning show host Chris Merrill will emcee the all-ages event.

“This gives us a different niche in the market here,” Urban says. “Central National is pretty big in volunteering in the community, and this is just another way of going about this.”