Sounds of music

For the last three months, we’ve lived through adjusting to confinement and social distancing. In the new normal brought by New Jersey’s COVID-19 restrictions, sharing music has brought some light and relief to many of our days. We’re missing local music scenes and professional concerts, but the silver lining could well be all of the musicians who are broadcasting themselves freely.

My own choice for Monday afternoon break time is Jonatha Brooke, broadcasting hour-long kitchen acoustic solo concerts from her home in Minnesota (on Facebook and Instagram live at 2 p.m. Mondays, free, but with a voluntary concert ticket purchase).

Recently, I polled library colleagues for their suggestions for live (or live replay) music they are enjoying online. I’ve shared their comments below.

  • Indigo Girls are broadcasting from their living room on Facebook. Norah Jones is doing Facebook Live songs from her home fairly regularly. Local favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter also posts a song a week on Facebook.
  • The Morristown-based Folk Project Minstrel folk club has online concerts on Tuesday and Friday nights, which are free but they ask for a free will donation. They call them “Acoustic Stayaways.”
  • If you’re a fan of European Renaissance music, Piffaro (based in Philadelphia) has videos of performances up on Facebook (search for “Piffaro, The Renaissance Band”).
  • For people who miss singing together, the Washington Revels hosts a daily song with a different song leader every day — just 15 minutes.  Washington Revels daily antidote of song happens every day at noon. The teaching and singing lasts about fifteen minutes. The whole event is over by 12:20 or 12:30 p.m. (Quality varies, from what I’ve seen so far).
  • For baseball fans who miss MLB baseball games in person, stadium concerts on Facebook have been a fun alternative. With appropriate and gleeful enthusiasm, hometown bands (the Dropkick Murphys at Fenway in Boston and the Disco Biscuits at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia) rocked empty stadiums in hometeam jerseys on Facebook. Search for #MLBAtHome for other upcoming and archived concerts.
  • Webb Wilder has been doing free solo performances (both acoustic and electric) from his basement den, via Facebook Live. The next one just happens to be this Friday at 8 p.m. Born in Mississippi and currently based in Tennessee, Webb plays everything you’d find in those places: country, rock & roll, country rock, roots rock, rockabilly, Americana, and even a dash of surf rock. His original songs are witty, his covers are expertly chosen, and he’s funny.
  • Immediate Family, a group of amazing session rock musicians (Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel and Steve Postell), have been posting social distanced zoom-type videos on their YouTube channel that prove they still have the chops and a sense of humor.
  • Over on Twitter, @questlove posts livestreams of DJ sessions from a little studio as Questlove presents… available to watch anytime and guaranteed to lift your feet a bit.

Beyond the Stacks  has more music recommendations and additional staff picks to explore. Stay safe and enjoy some live music, real time or archived.

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