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SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2021: Good evening, folks! It's been so long since I last updated this page; but I've been brainstorming for ideas for good content, and I would like to introduce you to some of the music and musicians I encountered during the past year's Covid-19 lockdown here in Seattle (Just to clarify: our city is NOT "dying"; we just need more live music on the streets). I also want to say a thing or two about livestreaming--one of the few ways independent musicians can make a living these days; and why I'm not so sure it's a great venue for Seattle's music festivals.

 

When the lockdown started in Seattle, exactly a day after my final live Irish music session in Fado Pub, it gave me the feeling of being cloistered like a medieval nun or hermit. When I did venture downtown, it looked like an entire community had been raptured in the apocalypse (aside from a few skateboarders in Westlake Plaza). But I was never deprived of contact with music in the outside world, because quarantined musicians and singers immediately took matters into their own hands, and created amazing group performances by way of Facetime, Zoom, and what-have-you. The now-famous and amazing Sacred Harp Quarantine Chorus was one of the first experiments in socially-distant group performance. Stephen Colbert's formidable band members played incredible ensemble work while in self-isolation as well, just as one example. Soon, one performer or band after another figured out how to make money with live-streamed gigs, which they are still doing to this day (UPDATE: it's now April 14, 2021); it's one of the few ways that performing artists can make a living amid the Covid-19 pandemic, at least until enough of the world's population is vaccined, with Coronavirus variants being brought under control.

 

But entire folk or world festivals done online? That might be a quarantine bridge too far.

*****

 

 

FOLKAL PROFILING


SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2021: Is 2021 the "Year of the Sea Chantey"? Stephen Colbert and a bunch of folks on YouTube and TikTok seem to think so. Practically everyone and their pet hamster have been taping and uploading their own version of
"The Wellerman", a mid-19th century New Zealand sea shantey that languished in obscurity for generations until a Scottish
postal worker named Nathan Evans put it at the top of the
British pop charts (I kid you not!). Even the Vienna Boys Choir chimed in with a "Wellerman" music video. I fully expect Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift to take the stage in some late-night show, belting out, "Soon may the Wellerman come..." pretty soon, if they haven't already.

 

Apparently this whole sea shantey revival craze started out on TikTok in the darkest hours of the pandemic, which goes to show you the power of traditional music to bring people together in cyberspace and social media, if they can't get together in person. Now that things are opening up again all over the world, Delta Variant be damned, live music events are finally popping up again; and I hope and pray Seattle's famed and much-loved music festivals will be revived and presented live again very soon. But one thing I've been meaning to do on this site is share some of the music and musicians that I stumbled across while cloistered like a medieval nun during the long, dreary lockdown. [TO BE CONTINUED]