If you know me, you know I play with my band in East Tennessee and other places. Like you, we’ve not been able to go out. Never have I ever missed playing music so much in front of a live audience! And I can happily say I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people eager to get out and be a part of live music as I am seeing now.
Over the weekend I played a couple of shows in East Tennessee and both times the places were absolutely packed! People were eating, conversing, smiling and clearly ready to listen to live music. This makes me grateful. The wait times for a table at both locations where we played live was between an hour and half to two hours.
I spoke to one couple who thanked me multiple times about being back at playing music and they told me that they have been so depressed by having to stay home. Music to them is therapy and it's their favorite part about the weekend (when football isn't in season). It’s fun for musicians, too.
Both of the places we played followed CDC guidelines and made sure that everything was cleaned and sanitized. ...
Coronavirus has meant a lot of things to a lot of people, and I am right there with you. Prayers for those who have struggled to feed their families, good thoughts for those who deal with anxiety. It hasn’t been an easy time.
As we inch closer and closer to reopening the state all the way I want to take a moment to reflect and be grateful for the good in my life. I want to reflect on the time we have spent in quarantine. If you’re like me, you know people who have not wanted this all to occur. However, I have noticed some good things have come from it. At least for me this is true.
Being a musician on the radio my life my social calendar extends very far beyond being on the radio. I'm always seem to be on 96.7 Merle. Yet when I am not, I always pop up somewhere either playing music or going to social events. That all stopped with the quarantine.
I certainly got bored just like you! When it came time for Thursday night acoustic and I have nowhere to go listen to acoustic music or it's Friday, I should be playing music somewhere...
What I fear of COVID-19 is not the virus itself. What concerns me is how it is affecting our world. Don't get me wrong, the virus is serious enough. It has killed thousands and hospitalized many, but I consider myself looking at a larger picture than just the virus itself. What is the real impact of the virus to our country? It has caused some to be really nervous, and the virus is also dividing many people.
I'm more concerned about how it's going to turn us against each other, especially on social media. It's becoming almost impossible to talk about Coronavirus, because some people want to shout you down with their opinion. It’s almost as difficult to express an opinion about Coronavirus as it would be to talk about religion or politics. Don’t even ask about politics.
Here’s a real thought for you: Are we going to allow an invisible enemy to make us the enemy of each other? Why can’t we use this time to learn to be kind to each other, even in stressful situations? You’ve heard this a hundred times: We’re in this together.
We see enough opinion and discord on social media about someone’s religion or their political views. It shouldn’t be a surprise...
During times like these it's easy to feel unsettled. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring can be kind of scary, but remember, we never know what tomorrow brings. Right now, we are being pumped with news from every outlet – social media and mainstream media. When you are force-fed uneasy news, your body triggers instinct. Those instincts sometimes tell you that something isn't right about what you're being told. That's when you should just turn off the news! That's when you should take a deep breath and remind yourself that there is good news going on in the world today.
That was me about a week ago. I was feeling scared, uneasy, unsettled, and just really unsure of my future. But then I just stopped. I took a deep breath, I bowed my head and prayed that God would give me the peace and understanding of what is going on. I prayed that all those affected to be taken care of in this "storm of life." After I prayed, I chose to turn off all negative news, and I forced myself to only see the positive in what is going on. I turned up the volume on my show, so I could vibe off...
East Tennessee has some of the best local musicians and local venues to hear live music. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen many venues shut down as well as cancel or postpone local artist (and national artist) shows.
Many of our listeners know that I play music all over East Tennessee, and beyond, and I have seen how this virus and "flattening the curve" has impacted my life, as well as our family of musicians' lives. If you come to our live shows, know we are thinking about you, and we want to get back to doing live shows as soon as it is safe.
With the cancellation of shows comes impact on others that live music supports. Not only does this affect the musicians (local and national) but also the servers, bartenders, managers, bussers, and even the sound crew who run the show.
During this difficult time, I have seen local artists band together and start performing online to hopefully gain some tips through online tipping. If you see this and can contribute, that is a great way to support local musicians of all kinds. Playing some live music online, on Facebook, or Instagram is also a great way to give you some local entertainment...
An M&M Broadcasting Station Twitter: @967Merle @RonMeredith
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