LOCK DOWN LEMONADE – TWO YEARS LATER
By Gary Stockdale
The fabulously talented Susie Glaze asked me (and, I’m guessing, many of you as well) to write another Lockdown Lemonade column, about how we’re “transitioning (our) music and life out of pandemic world and being creative.”
When the pandemic hit it was obvious that nobody was gonna be performing anywhere. Luckily, I fairly quickly learned how to integrate my studio audio with streaming video (thanks, Streamyard!), and began doing a weekly show. Throughout 2020 and 2021 we gained quite a following, so we just kept on doing it. I did a mixture of themed cover songs (Love songs, piano songs, songs about summer, Halloween, etc.), and my own original tunes. As of this writing we have done 128 shows, missing only a few due to illness or travel. “We” is my wife, Danelle, and me. In this way, the pandemic brought us closer together as Dani became a warm and articulate voice during the show, talking to the audience in between my warbling. In the summer of 2021, Dani and I took a month-long trip across the US by car, performing our little online show from Chicago, IL; Madison, WI; Mt. Rushmore, SD; and Cedar City, UT.
Also, in 2020 I wrote a bunch of new tunes as a part of a group of songwriters which then met every two weeks on Zoom. (I wish I’d bought stock in Zoom back in 2018!) Then I’d perform them on our show. Along with that, I’ve been collaborating with a director and my theater music co-writer on a new musical.
And as things have opened up, I’ve been gratefully experiencing a lot of other performance opportunities, including music-directing and performing in The Tribe’s “One-Hit Wonders” tribute band, playing downtown LA’s Palace Theatre with many of the original artists from those same records, as well as doing some big park concerts in the summer.
Back when I first became a part of this community, transitioning from being a “work-for-hire” composer and singer, and returning to my roots as a performing songwriter, I felt as if I had gained a whole new family. That family seems to have splintered a bit, or at least Balkanized, but I’m sure that, too, will continue to open up, and we’ll all be in a room singing together again soon.