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Editorial: Keeping the music going

As we are limited on public gatherings due to the coronavirus restrictions, one area that has been completely shutdown is the music industry.

This has happened at all levels, with stadium tours by giant like the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam postponed, live appearances on TV severely limited to Zoom video, radio programs like Mountain Stage shifted into rerunning old shows and smaller tours either canceled or postponed.

This is especially tough for up and coming musicians, with bars, clubs and festivals where they would build a following closed down. And, even as states reopen, most governors expect the kind of venues that host live music to be among the last to resume operations, meaning that music scenes may be dealing with this impediment for at least a year.

In the meantime, many artists are taking to social media and performing shows and one such outlet they found was the Appalachian Folk Online music Festival, which featured 13 hours of music from multiple artists in the region, including some from Lawrence County, last weekend. Its organizers hope to repeat the experience monthly and open it up to fundraising for nonprofit causes.

Meanwhile, Dolceola Recordings released a compilation album “Just Behind the Creek: Field Recording at Kickin’ It on the Creek 2019” featuring musicians from eastern Kentucky who had played the festival of the same name. Proceeds go toward the artists.

These are but a few of the things being done to help out while the music scene is struggling.

While the option of a live show is irreplaceable, we encourage you to still support artists, especially at the local level. Check out the social media and web pages. Consider downloading an album or purchasing a T-shirt or merchandise.

Your generosity will be much appreciated, not only in helping someone’s livelihood, but also to let them know that you enjoy and appreciate what they are most passionate about.