The same internet that’s been blamed for driving a wedge between musicians and audiences may be the very thing that saves our sanity and our souls. This is abundantly clear when you search the web and get inundated with new songs, one-on-one performances, and virtual windows connecting to those who are hurting as bad as you. The live-streaming feeds aren’t ideal, but they’ll do in a pandemic pinch.
The other night, there was nothing on TV so I found myself surfing the web, and I came across local pianist Bobby DiBaudo tickling the ivories on an original composition he called “The COVID-19 Blues.” It was beautiful. And though the times may call for a more rough ‘n’ tumble strain, “The COVID-19 Blues” is more of an ambling, W.C. Handy type of affair. It was truly a command performance, and nobody was there.
“It’s just that we are all cooped up in our houses,” DiBaudo says, “and my friends wanted me to play something and post it.”
I soon found myself on Danielle Ponder’s Facebook page, where she and keyboardist Avis Reese were laughing their way through “Proud Mary,” complete with choreography. Though they’re serious musicians, the obvious fun they were having was palpable and appreciated.
“We were just having the best time,” Ponder says. I think we didn't realize how much we needed that as well. We read everyone's comments and it really lifted our spirits.”
I left Ponder’s site for Geoff Dale and the Three Heads guys goofing and mugging for the camera. It was like reality TV for beer drinkers. They weren’t playing music — just fooling around, cracking each other up. But it was uplifting; when it comes to connecting online during the pandemic, you don’t even have to wait for a live-streaming concert.
Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.