Soundtrack to COVID-19

Having worked in the music industry off and on for most of the past 40 years or so, I’ve met a lot of musicians. Some have even become friends as we have interacted over a number of years and releases.

Which means I have been very aware of the struggles my musical friends are facing during this pandemic. Most have had to cancel live shows, indeed entire tours.

Which means that for the most part they have had no money coming in, given that most musicians are self-employed.  If nobody is buying tickets, times get tough. It takes a lot of online streaming plays to buy a pint of milk.

Some have put on online concerts, hoping the viewers will leave a tip, but those shows, great as they are, aren’t as exciting as being able to crowd close to the stage to hear a favorite song.

Who knows when we’ll be able to go to concert halls again. Not until the Fall – at the earliest. So much for the music-filled summer many of us had planned. All the festivals I had planned to attend have been cancelled.

Still, some musicians are using this time to be creative. I’m sharing a couple of examples today from friends who have released songs about the pandemic during the pandemic.

At the beginning of today’s post is “After This,” the first new song from Carolyn Arends (and Spencer Capier) in quite some time – I think at least five years. She sent me an email last week telling me about the song – and the video which at that point was almost finished.

She put out a notice for COVID-19 pictures and people responded. I’m sure it is a big thrill for people to see themselves in a music video. I submitted a photo – but I was too late.

While Carolyn hasn’t been releasing much new music lately, Martyn Joseph has been putting out an album every year. He and I have joked that we seem to be avoiding each other: when he tours Canada I’m in Germany. His German tours always seem to be when I go to Canada for a vacation.

Martyn too has a brand new COVID-19 song, “When We Get Through This” that you can see at the end of this post.

Both musicians bring a positive attitude to the problems we all face these days. They know that there will come a day (soon we all hope) when restrictions will be listed and we can start living normally once again, whatever the “new normal” looks like.

Until that happens, thanks to Carolyn and Martyn for music to brighten our days.


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