It's almost Thanksgiving and you know what that means. Actually, no... no we don't know what it means. Certainly not the same thing it has meant in previous years. Most of the country is back into some kind of March-like lock down and hospitals are full or filling up. It's disappointing and sad to think of what our health care professionals are going through. We try to focus on what we have control over in our lives, and move forward the best we can. It is not a good time to be a professional musician, but not all is bleak. We continue to create art and music, and hope for the best.
After wading through the strange purgatory of the first half of 2020, Merry and I have settled back in Portland. We managed to perform live twice this summer at restaurants that followed health guidance. Our screen printing shop is set up once more. Now with the dark weather upon us, that little window we had to get out there responsibly is gone. To make up for the lost stage time, I've started to live stream a solo acoustic performance about once a month since August. I was honestly far more nervous before my first live stream than any show I've played in years. Because I didn't know what technical or acoustical problems I would have, because I was terrified that absolutely no one would watch or participate in the chat, and because I have never played a full set completely solo, I ended up completely sweating through my "show shirt" by the second song of that first live stream. But I made it through and as the show went on, got more and more comfortable.
I've been playing a few Mutineers songs in each live stream, but the set list has been 90% covers. Some are songs I picked and some are songs I solicited from you all via FB. My most recent set was covers of songs written by our band buddies, all independent artists we've been playing with for years. You can watch the full performance on our Youtube page . There's a list of the artists I covered in the description of the video. You can also check out this Spotify Playlist I made with all of the original versions of the songs in the order they were played on the show. The other live streams are still available on FB and can be found on our timeline.
I'm definitely sold on the value and experience of the live stream. The reality is, for many folks, getting out to the bar or club to come see the Mutineers live is challenging to say the least. "The bar" is not a place where everyone feels comfortable, and the typical show time hours are not for the faint of heart. Don't get me wrong, I actually love the classic bar environment, but I also get why many do not. But even if you love the bar too, lots of people who might want to go don't because they are either: not in the town we are playing, parents who can't ditch their kids for a rock show at 11pm., typically asleep by the time we play because they get up at 5:30 for their jobs, or they have a billion other obligations that have to take precedence.
Live streams are not comparable to a live show. The sound will never be as good or as big. We still can't figure out how to involve the drums because we live in an apartment. The lighting, the stage, the anticipation, none of it is as effective over digital media. It's not the same, but it doesn't have to be. I have found it to be the most intimate performance experience I've been involved with. I can choose to read and engage in audiences reactions in real time. The feedback is more personal and more frequent than the somewhat embarrassing and rushed experience of saying "good job" to us as we hurry to get our equipment off stage at 12:30am. The audience can choose when to start and stop the performance. They can tune in from around the world, and I'm happy to report that we had viewers from as far away as the UK and Southeast Asia. I've even been sent pictures of folks watching on their huge smart TVs with surround sound. We picked up almost 600 views of the video AFTER it was live. It takes a long time to prepare for these live streams because each show is entirely different material. It is really powerful to know that the performance continues to have legs after the live stream ends. Thank you for the support. I am humbled.
Tune in on Wednesday 12/23 as I live stream Christmas-Eve Eve. I'll be sitting at the synthesizer, performing some classic tunes that would normally be a part of our annual Holiday Spectacular. The tradition will continue albeit in Covid lockdown fashion. Don't forget to visit our store. Give the gift of The Mutineers for this holiday season. FREE SHIPPING!