Those of us who are used to going out and catching local artists play live are all experiencing massive withdrawal pains these days. That particular source of pleasure for us has been yanked out of our hands and stripped away from our lives in an instant with a ferocity that
is both startling and discombobulating. Almost like a staged intervention and being sent off to a recovery centre, only to find that there's nobody else there. Instead we're alone with our need and our lack of understanding. It has to be even more stark for musicians!
The local music scene is made up of artists and bands ranging from those who make their entire living from music to those who fall into the weekend warrior category and everything in between. Some of them normally gig every weekend, others less often.
Some supplement their gigging income by giving lessons. Others have full time employment and squeeze playing into their schedules. The one thing they all share in common is a love of playing live in front of an audience.
"... but I can be creative playing guitar. It’s what I am, who I am and what defines and elevates me ..." - sean bray
All the local musicians that I have come to know well share a deep love for and passion about the entire "creative" lifestyle. For most musicians, the peak of the whole creative process is sharing their own creations, or their interpretations of others', in one
of those live performances. For you and me.
Practicing and rehearsing and then ultimately getting up on stage and putting it all on the line. The feedback and the energy that they receive from a live audience during those performances brings a sense of validation of
the whole process and indeed the lifestyle itself. Losing that is hard to fathom and even harder to put into words.
"... a gig is like speed dating, a room full of people you don't know-first, tentative smiles, initial eye contact ..." - sue ruuska (rollin' coal)
With such a diverse group of musicians and bands, the impact on their livelihoods has varied from pretty darn serious to absolutely devastating. For those who normally make their entire living from gigging, well, it's been a problem to say the least.
Many of them are scrambling to put on live stream shows on Facebook or Instagram or other platforms, and we try to point to as many of those performances that we become aware of. Others are trying to adapt by offering online lessons and other things.
Those issues, however, only speak to the financial losses being suffered by our local music heros.
"... I also miss my fans, and being able to try new music I’ve been working on through the winter months on live audiences ..." - ben klick
in their own words
Please take a minute to read what each of these artists has been willing to share. Learn a little more about them; what drives them, why they do what they do it, and why they're missing it.
If you can, visit their sites or go to where they make their online songs and videos availble, and maybe buy some of their tunes. It may just put a few bucks in their jeans and will let them know that you know that they still exist.
We put up a page at the start of this COVID shutdown where we list all the online places we know of where you can listen to and purchase local artists' songs. That information is available at our Local Tunes page.
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