Performing in a pandemic year

Buskers wearing masks

I had planned to quit teaching at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Pack it in, that June. I had no real definite plans besides vague ideas of going to movies and concerts, hanging in coffee houses and museums, traveling a bit and eating out a lot. I also wanted to grow my “music career.” The previous year had been a good one with nearly 40 shows, and I figured that in 2020 I would be able to increase that number significantly.

Well, to paraphrase Robert Burns, “…the best laid plans of mice and men, gang aft agley.”

Robert Burns

School was to end in June, but the lock-down started in March. From mid-March (when I posted my last blog piece) up to then, all learning was virtual, on-line. I never again returned to the classroom. Movie theaters and museums shut their doors; restaurants and cafes as well, doing their best to stay afloat through take-out and out-door service. Traveling was limited and probably unwise and unsafe. And music venues were shuttered. That first week of “lock-down” I had three gigs cancelled. And I was glad…in full support.

Soon people started improvising. One venue set up “live streaming, virtual concerts”–I’ve done three of them. When the weather turned nice, another place used its out-door space for music (though masks had to be worn throughout all performances. An odd experience.)

In my city, we moved from take-out dining only to outdoor dining to 10% indoor capacity to 25% and then back to outdoor dining only. It was brutal on the small businesses, the fledgling pubs, the local shops. Many of them are not coming back. But many are…and will.

Me, on the other hand, I decided to put out a video on YouTube every Sunday: “Another Sunday Morning Tune.” If nothing else, it kept me busy and grew my fan-base to a large degree. I also concentrated on my songwriting and on learning the art of recording and production. That second part is not easy, and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But I got some good work done.

By the last quarter of the year, some places were opening and I was getting jobs again.

I also found a way to embed my original music onto this blog site. I hope you check it out. My songs are available on most streaming services, but here is a way you can listen to them right now.

Have fun and enjoy!

And to be sure to receive info on upcoming shows, new song releases, and new Sunday videos, please check out the Music Schedule Page above.


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