Local musicians keeping busy, making music

Felicity Bosk 

Feeding Leroy Held a Facebook Livestream at White Winter Winery in Iron RiverApril 9
Feeding Leroy Held a Facebook Livestream at White Winter Winery in Iron River April 9.

While venues are closed, local bands are getting creative with how to reach their fans, who are staying home due to COVID-19.

Most venues closed March 16, but before that shows slowly began canceling in concern of large group activities. Many bands have been active on social media, reaching out to entertain their fans who are staying safe at home.

The rock-and-soul band One Less Guest kept busy preparing for the release of their first album, Monochrome, that released April 20. They did a live-steam March 20 that was viewed more than 6,000 times

“We’ve also been working on a batch of new songs via the internet by sending and editing audio files and have been doing zoom meetings once a week,” said guitarist Nick Muska. “Luckily, we all have small home workstations with mics and cameras set up.”

While some bands have been putting off releasing albums until they can have a tour promoting them, One Less Guest felt like putting their album out now will make a positive difference for some of their fans.

“We just felt it was time to put something out. It’s been a couple years in the making putting this together when you think about it, and people need some positivity right now,” said Muska.

Their album release show is scheduled for May 2 at Thirsty Pagan Brewing, if bars and restaurants are open again by then.

Norshore Summit has been working on their music individually, learning some new instruments, and doing a “distance recording project.”

“What we’re doing here is building one of our songs, “Oceanside” from the floor up,” said guitarist John Iver Ostlund. “Sequentially, notating the drum part into a MIDI file, recording the guitar and bass parts, recording lead vocals, backup vocals, and violin. It kind of passes the baton when one part is finished to the next. Each recorded part is sent back and then we will mix it all together and release it.”

Feeding Leroy singer and guitarist Sonja Martin said they were supposed to be in Texas at a music festival during the time.

“We are missing all of our people and gatherings big time,” she said. “We partook in a full day Zoom gathering with our festival friends that were supposed to be in Texas this last week. It was super cool, folks took turn playing songs while everyone listened. It was a reminder of the spirit of the festival and how much we support and love one another.”

Singer-songwriters have the social-distancing advantage and are keeping busy doing livestreams from home. Severio Mancieri was frequent face at Sir Ben’s and Wussow’s. He traveled back to his hometown in Iowa when the shutdowns began in March. There, he said he’s been hiking, writing new songs, and hosting live streams.

“I've been quarantining down here in Iowa. All the shows are cancelled, obviously. I've been doing some live stream shows from home and at local breweries down here in Iowa.” Mancieri added that the time off has given him ample time to perfect his craft.