Behind the song “Skin Deep”

Playing For Change and Buddy Guy united to record and film his anthem, “Skin Deep,” across America.

The song includes over 50 musicians from coast to coast featuring Buddy Guy, Tom Morello, Billy Branch, Chicago Children’s Choir, and Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi.  Originally, this was going to be a song across Chicago to bring light to all the violent shootings across the city but as time marched on, along with various shootings across our country, we realized we needed to expand our vision and use this song as a tool to unite our divided nation.

Buddy Guy talks about the inspiration behind “Skin Deep:”

“Well, what happened was, I was between nine and 11 years old. We didn’t have electricity, and she was combing her hair in the mirror — matter of fact, I speak to her onstage every night before I play this song — one afternoon when the sun was going down, and I peeped at her in the mirror and I said — I was just playing — ‘Mama, you good-lookin’. And she said, ‘Son, that’s only skin deep.’

I was on the bus talking with my producer and he said, ‘Man, you write songs without even knowing it,’ and he was noting down what we were talking about and when we got to the studio he came up with this song. You know, you take a person down to the skeleton, down the bones — you can’t tell if they were black or white.”


If you take a close look (and listen) Buddy is not playing a typical electric guitar in the song: 
“I’m always trying to do something with the blues to keep it alive. You do everything you can to make the music something that people can get at. So I’d heard the sitar on a Stevie Wonder song [“Signed Sealed Delivered” and “I Was Made to Love Her”], and when I found out they’d made one into a guitar, I figured, “Well, I’m gonna try one,” and so I did.”

Buddy Guy interview excerpted from

“Skin Deep” Song Across America


Featured artists:

Incendiary rock guitarist and acoustic troubadour Tom Morello, known for his innovative guitar solos and thunderous chords, is a groundbreaking artist whether in his solo career or as an original member of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, two acts responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s released three solo albums as The Nightwatchman and formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup in 2009. Morello has also been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).”

Waddy Wachtel is one of the most well-known and respected performers in the music industry. His career as a guitarist, producer, and composer has spanned many decades. From his early beginnings in the L.A. music scene in the 1970’s playing with such artists as the Everly Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Don Henley and Jackson Browne – to playing and writing with Keith Richards in the X-Pensive Winos – to his recent work as musical director, lead guitarist and vocalist for Stevie Nicks – he’s ventured into such creative fields as composing his own songs and writing musical scores for films.

Vasti Jackson and the Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi

Rooted in the music of Mississippi, and Louisiana Vasti Jackson recorded on B.B. King’s Grammy award-winning Blues Summit in 1994. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Vasti was session guitarist for Malaco Records (Mississippi) and Alligator Records (Chicago). Musical director, and guitarist ZZ Hill, Johnnie Taylor, Denise LaSalle, Little Milton, Bobby Bland, and Swamp queen Katie Webster. He also worked with gospel greats – including the Williams Brothers, The Jackson Southernaires, and Daryl Coley.


Visit to discover more about this song.


“Skin Deep” is the first song from our Listen to the Music series — our newest body of work comprising 12 new Songs Around The World and featuring Buddy Guy, The Doobie Brothers, Warren Haynes, Dr. John, Jack Johnson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and many more. All music in this series was recorded live outside with a mobile studio and features over 200 musicians from 25 different countries. The album will be released on April 20th, 2018 (pre-order available now), with one new video from the series dropping every month!

100% of Playing For Change’s profits from this album will go to the Playing For Change Foundation, helping to support music education across the globe. Listen to the music; change the world!

The Best Of 2017 | PFC Photo Album

We are closing the year and we want to thank you all for believing in what we do. We are continuing to work on our mission of connecting and inspiring the world through music, and 2017 was a year full of blessings and happy moments!


First of all, we are so excited to be releasing a new series of Songs Around The World this 2018, for which we have been traveling all over the world these past few years, and this last year we got to record some amazing musicians in Mali, Haiti, Japan, USA, and Brazil.


2017 was also a great year for the PFC Band! We got to perform at the Billboard Awards in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, we shared an amazing night of music at the DirecTV Arena in Buenos Aires with the most loving and wonderful crowd, and we were honored to share the stage with The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, Nahko, Ellis Hall, James Gadson and more at our PFC Foundation benefit concert in Los Angeles.


We send you all our love and best wishes for this coming year and hope you will join us as we share our new series of Songs Around The World, which will also bring many surprises this 2018!!


One Love,

Playing For Change.



Are you ready for PFC Day 2017?

Musicians and non-musicians alike can participate! Host an event at a location of your choice and promote artists in your community. If you’re a business owner, offer your venue (club, restaurant, café, business, or residence) to musicians or event organizers! This website allows you to easily create, schedule and publish an event.


Are you a #PeaceThroughMusic Changemaker?

We are looking for all those people who believe in the power of music and are committed to making real change.

Music can change the world


At PFC we want to share your stories. All you need to do is send us, through a direct message in Facebook, a brief description of what you do (written or on video) along with a cool image of you and/or your team, plus any links to your website or social media pages.

Because together we are stronger than we could ever be apart.


One Love,

The Playing For Change Family

PFC Band Tour T-shirt contest



Hello everyone!

In wake of our upcoming European tour we want to invite you to take a crack at designing our official PFC tour t-shirt!

The selected designer will receive:

  • Songs Around the World bundle ( PFC1, 2 and 3 downloads)
  • 2 one year PFC memberships.
  • 2 shirts from your winning design shipped anywhere in the world.

You can see our tour dates here:


File specifications:

PNG, Photoshop or Illustrator File.

PNG files must have transparent background. Fonts must be outlined or included with the graphics.

Resolution should be at least around 3000x 2000 pixels (at 72ppi)

Send your files to [email protected] all submissions must be sent by June 20th.




* By submitting your graphics to this contest you authorize to Playing For Change to make commercial use of it.


We asked people to share with us how music has impacted their lives…

Mary Miller: “Music has had a huge impact on my life with a mother who was a music teacher and my studies at Interlochen Music Academy but the biggest moment? It was when I played Mozart’s clarinet concerto to my dying husband who was becoming restless. When I put that on, he said, “God is here now” and he slipped away peacefully. So…#MusicIsMyAmmunition”

Jason Neptune: “I haven’t slept in a proper bed for 6 months, instead I sleep under the stars, I haven’t had a regular income in 5 years and I have never been happier… I now travel Australia and Indonesia collecting plastic from beaches and natural ecosystems while playing tunes. #musicismyammunition without it the world would be empty.”



Martina Kopf: “I hear your music and my thoughts are quiet. My heart open and I feel joy, love peace and the spirit behind PFC . I cought myself smiling for no reason, then I realized your music makes me smile. So music changend my life.Thank you for sharing with all of us.”

Gary Meyer: “Music rights what’s wrong in my life.”

Dani English Whipple: “#MusicIsMyAmmunition The first two playing for change albums are my happy playlist. When things get crazy in this world where some citizens of this planet can turn a blind eye to the suffering of other citizens, when we label people immigrants instead of refugees in order to feel better about themselves for denying life saving aid to infants and children and their families, I can remind myself their are still good people in our world who are still striving to bring us all together.”



Thank you everyone for sharing with us. Let peace rule the world, let music be our ammunition. One Love.

Gimme Shelter Project

blog strip gimme ok

Nepal is no stranger to challenges. Yet this current situation is unprecedented. 28 million people are now facing a severe nationwide humanitarian crisis.

The rainy season has come and gone and as winter sets in, government inaction and the Indian block-aid means two million people are still homeless or living in a makeshift shelter seven months after the earthquake. PFCF supporters, students and teachers came to an earthquake damaged village known as Khoriya to build and provide a shelter for as many desperate people as possible.

So far we have finished building homes for 18 families. We deeply appreciate everyone involved with this massive effort. And a very special thanks goes out to the Maurie Stang family, Trans-Tasman Business Circle and PFCF for bringing such compassion to their world.

William Aura