Covid-19 has taken its toll and put so many people out of work, including touring musicians. Due to the pandemic, every gig has been canceled and no one knows when there will be live performances in the future. So how are musicians to pay their bills? Many are playing music virtually. Here are some of the events taking place as a one-time or weekly event, Please tune into their shows and donate what you can.
The annual benefit of Austin-based nonprofit HOME (Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers), “Home Cookin’ For the Holidays,” will take place Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 from 7-9pm Central Time. The virtual broadcast will feature music from John Mayall, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, Shelley King,Carolyn Wonderland, Delbert McClinton, Ruthie Foster, Irma Thomas, Lucinda Williams, and many others. Besides musical performances, HOME will present a unique cooking segment in which viewers can join many of the artists cooking up their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. The donation-based benefit will be streamed via the HOME Facebook page and also via Youtube.
Can’t Stop the Blues is a non-profit, volunteer-run virtual blues platform which emerged in the early days of the Covid crisis to bring money to the bands and music to the fans. They have helped over 200 artists pay their bills while bringing joy, escape and a sense of community to thousands of blues fans around the globe. The largest ongoing virtual international blues venus, you’ll find them Thurs-Sun from 9:00-11:00 pm eastern, The broadcasts feature two artist shows per night, and the artists interact with the fans throughout the broadcast. Find them on facebook or youtube.
Award-winning, singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams, who will also be part of the HOME benefit, helps independent music venues with Lu’s Jukebox, a six-episode series of mostly full-band, in-studio HD video performances curated by Williams and featuring themed sets by other artists. First episode is October 22nd with Running Down A Dream: A Tribute To Tom Petty. Lu’s Jukebox will be streamed, with ticketed performances accessed through Mandolin. Stay tuned to Lucinda William’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for announcements of upcoming episode themes.
Joe Filisko (harmonica and vocals) & Eric Noden (guitar, vocals and yes – kazoo) are a Chicago-based roots duo who play blues and roots music and have been zooming “Music and Conversation” from their respective living rooms most Thursdays at 12:30pm Central Time. Register for this webinar for only $10.00.
Singer/songwriter/Texas royalty Shelley King, who sings Americana blues, soul and gospel roots performs two shows a week from Austin: “Soul-O Show” every Sunday at 2pm Central Time on Facebook Live and YouTube Live, Wednesday evenings at 7pm Central, she does the “Evening Edition: Soul-O Show” simulcast on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and on local Austin Cable Channels 16 & 99. (She’ll also be part of the HOME benefit).
Patrice Pike and Wayne Sutton founders of the seven-piece band, Pike and Sutton, are unable to perform even as a duo, so Pike is been live-streaming on Facebook, “There is no paywall for all people in various financial situations, but tips are appreciated and folks have been generous,” says Pike. Keep the Faith live-streams Thursdays at 8 pm and Sundays 7 pm Central. Pike also founded Step Onward Foundation to benefit survivors of childhood homelessness, airing November 14th at 7pm Central. Tickets here.
Sunny Sweeney, a humble East Texas kid with super-star chops has been live-streaming acoustic country/Americana music from her living room since the first week of Covid shutdown. Her studio bandstream was mixed and mastered and is now a live record, coming out Nov 13. Right now, she’s on the road playing actual socially distanced shows. Look for her on Patreon, a virtual and interactive fan club.
Shinyribs (AKA Kevin Russell) streams every Saturday night as The Saturday Night Rib Fry, on his Official Shinyribs FB page, You Tube Channel and Twitch. The stream is a mix of edited and mostly live performance videos and the occasional chat with people in his neighborhood. He conducts a Saturday Night Zoom after-party for his “Patreons” and a weekly happy hour private live stream for Patreon at his FB Ribbon Tickle Lounge.
Musician/entrepreneur/ creative coach Wendy Colonna of San Marcos, Texas, whose voice has been described as grit and honey, is performing regularly with some streaming, some safe private events and in-person outdoor locations.
Since the start of the COVID-19 shutdown,Allan Harris has been giving weekly livestream shows from his Harlem home titled “Harlem After Dark.” Every Tuesday at 7:30pm EDT, the renowned jazz/blues guitarist and vocalist performs an hour-long set, often with special guests. Access on facebook.
In her 30th week of streaming, jazz pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton presents “Live From Lockdown” with her father flugelhorn player and trumpeter Stephen Fulton. Every Sunday at 5pm EDT, Champian and Stephen play music straight from her New York City home, interspersed with chatter and fun jazz history tidbits.
Grammy nominated husband and wife duo Nicole Zuraitis (vocal and piano) and Dan Pugach (drums) have been performing on Facebook with their Virtual Piano Lounge throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. The series has expanded to “Virtual Piano Lounge Plus One” featuring special guests and airing every Friday at 5pm EDT. The duo’s repertoire is vast, encompassing jazz standards to pop hits.
Harpist Brandee Younger and bassist Dezron Douglas perform a monthly Friday brunch series, “Force Majeure” on Patreon, where viewers can catch the duo for as low as $5/month. They perform jazz standards, popular pieces and original compositions along with off-the-cuff banter.
In addition, to watching the live streams,, there are also musicians who cannot physically play, but need your help. Richard Grigsby (known internationally as “RW”), is an award-winning bassist, singer and songwriter who recently suffered a stroke. His right side is impaired and he cannot play his beloved bass. Help out this Blues Music Award winner at gofundme and buy his and his wife, Beth Grisby’s new CD, Broke Down in the Fast Lane.