COVID-19 pandemic

Quarantime: Why not learn to play an instrument?

Okee dokee folks… Last week I wrote about the way social distancing and the show cancellations that came in its wake have affected artists. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, please do. ( )

“We are all pretty much in the same boat and that boat is the Titanic and it just hit the iceberg. Some folks are taking off alone in the lifeboats while others are giving up their seats.” I will add, “The captain is a moron and his ineptness is adding to the panic.” My good friend and bandmate Dan Lilley has the perfect song for this. His “No Captain at the Wheel” is a great tune about lack of leadership. If any of the past month’s shows had gone on, you could have had the pleasure of seeing him perform it live. Hopefully a recording of it will show up online. Turn on the music, turn off Trump. He is a directionless, narcissistic sociopath and is trying to feed his ego by holding daily press briefings only because he can’t hold his own rallies. His denial is what got us into this mess. A proper pandemic response would have lessened what is happening now. My stomach turns from anything Trump. He is the real virus affecting this country! #TrumpVirus Onto what little music news there is. Read on…

If you haven’t already noticed, the internet has been flooded with livestream concerts by artists from those whose only performance experience is in their bedroom all the way to legends like Neil Young. Most are just trying to entertain the isolated while others think they may become the plague’s Justin Bieber. One of those is more than we (never) ever needed. It is virtually impossible to even list who is doing them, just assume EVERYONE is doing them and check out your favorite artist’s Facebook or web page. Some are asking for money for themselves while others are raising funds to help with this crisis. Money is very scarce with most folks nowadays so be wise and spend it where you can and where it is needed most. When, and if, this is all over and we are back to whatever normal is, please remember that it was more than likely music, movies and books — art — that got you through and saved you from slitting your wrists in isolation. Art is a necessity in civilization for education, communication, growth and entertainment.

While there are no shows for the foreseeable future, there is plenty of music to listen to. I am sure that after the quarantine period ends that there will be even more. I am often asked to review recordings, but I usually tend to pass on doing so. Why? First of all I give brutally honest critiques and that is not always a welcome thing. I went to art school. There we were subjected to and involved in critiques on a daily basis. It teaches you a lot about criticizing and toughens you up about criticism. I am also a musician and have been playing music for 45 years and have been performing, producing and involved in the RI music scene for over 35 years. Working on both sides of the musical fence gives me a unique perspective on music. Also, I know a lot of the local musicians personally and that could prove to be an awkward situation. In spite of all this, during this lull in live performances I guess I should soften my “no CD review” stance. If you have a project that you have released in the past year send me a LINK to the recordings or MP3s. Please e-mail me first to discuss. I don’t want a physical CD. I have bins of CDs and no more room! Besides, I don’t want any COVID-19 deliveries and who knows when I will get to the post office! Only send the music to me if you are up for honesty! I will write about the projects that I choose and post them online as I get them done. E-mail me at

I hope we all enjoy the QuarantiMe! Make the best of it. Learn that instrument that has been collecting dust in the closet. Plenty of musicians are providing online lessons. Again, just find your favorite performer and check their site. Facetime, Skype, Zoom and other platforms are being used to teach. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can be bored already when there is so much to do at home! Get to it!   

Anyway, DUMP TRUMP 2020!!! – “He is dangerous!” Put that line from a Jesus Christ Superstar song in your head. You could have heard it at PPAC live, but alas, like everything else that show has been canceled, too. That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.  #StayTheFuckHome