May 3rd, 2020
Hi guys! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written and I’m sorry for that. My family went through a tough year, but this isn’t the time to tell that story. Just know I thank you all for your continued love and support. Mom is doing well, and we couldn’t be more grateful. During that year music helped me in ways I never thought possible. I do promise to share some of those intimate stories with you, when the time is right.
So why choose to write now? After a full year of silence? Well, it’s actually hard to put all of my feelings about this pandemic into words. I guess there really is a first time for everything, right? The easiest thing to say is that we are experiencing pain, confusion, loss and fear on a global level. And although we are all experiencing these emotions at the same time, we are forced to do so physically isolated from one another. I want to do my part to keep us all connected. It’s just that simple. I believe that human connection is what will get us through. Whether you’re self-isolating alone in an apartment, or in a house with a huge family and screaming children you now have to homeschool, or (like me) you can’t stay home and are working in a hospital seeing unimaginable things take place, I think we all need the same thing right now – a way to escape that reality and connect with others who understand what we are going through. Even if just for a moment. Music has been my saving grace during this past month. As I have quoted before, Eric Church says “The only way I’ve fixed anything that has been broken in me, is with music.” I find myself turning to the music community for understanding and acceptance during this difficult time, now more than ever. Here is information on two of the musicians/groups I am listening to right now and the amazing work they are doing to help during the pandemic. If after reading you decide to join any of their live streams and see me in there too – make sure you say hi. After all, the whole reason for me writing this is to keep us all connected! I hope this helps some of you find moments of joy and healing, through our shared love of music and community.
- Adam Ezra: We have had the pleasure of becoming friendly with Adam over the past few years and his music continues to evolve and grow, as does his fan base. (See 1st blog on Adam here: https://honeybeebuzzblog.com/adam-ezra-a-ball-of-light-love/) Adam thrives on human connection, he even ends every concert in the audience singing “Let it Be” unplugged. Not being able to tour and hug everyone after the show must be especially hard on him. To keep that connection alive, Adam has been live streaming a concert every night at 7pm EST on facebook and YouTube Live. Mostly alone, or sometimes with Corinna and/or the full band Adam is there nightly. He is a constant presence in these unstable times, which we need right now. Singing a mixture of his original folk songs and covers from musicians that have influenced him over the years, Adam continues to spread joy the only way he knows how to – by connecting us through his music. If anyone will find a way to keep playing shows once stay at home orders are lifted, it’s Adam. Until then, I’m happy to get to see my BFF via social media every night.
Giving Back: Unfortunately about 2 weeks ago, Adam came down with Coronavirus. Instead of disappearing and pulling the covers over his head until he recovered (like most of us would have done) Adam continued to broadcasted live nightly – from his bedroom. This gave everyone a firsthand look at someone battling the virus and raised awareness of the symptoms. Luckily Adam has pulled through and is on the other side of his illness, already performing to raise funds for local musicians in Rhode Island currently out of work this past week. He is also bringing in other local musicians like Sirsy via zoom to play with him, helping to expose them to a new audience, averaging over 800 viewers each night. Adam is doing his part to keep the musical community not only connected, but financially supported as well during a very difficult time.
https://adamezra.com/ for more information on Adam Ezra Group
- Delta Rae / Eric Holljes: If you haven’t heard of this band, you are truly missing out. Delta Rae is a group of musicians with southern roots that sing in 4-part harmony. Three of the members are siblings, which I’m convinced plays a role in how the harmonies are so masterfully blended, creating a sound that is pure and enchanting. Their recent album release “The Light” has become my soundtrack for this pandemic. (OK, reading this back I just realized how that line sounds – but this is meant to be a compliment, I swear. I mean, not that anyone wants to hear their album is thought to be a soundtrack for a pandemic but… forget it… you guys know what I meant.) Created as the first of two albums, “The Light” is the happier, more upbeat album in comparison to the “The Dark” which we hope will be released in 2021. My friend Monika put it perfectly when we discussed this album, which she also loves. She said, “Thank God they released The Light first – it’s like they knew we’d need it!” And do we ever… although with Brittany’s witchy ways I wouldn’t be surprised if some divine intervention was at work with that decision. The first 3 tracks are so good you will be tempted to stop and listen to them on repeat – but make sure you get through the whole album. Trust me, it’s worth it. Wrong Ocean is easily the first hit, but there are a few others close behind. It’s so much fun to sing Burning in Carolina on my drive in to the hospital each morning – it almost makes me forget where I’m heading and what I’ll be walking in to. “You get a torch and a flame and burn the path you want.” Listen to this album while you cook or take a walk around the neighborhood while the hiking trails are closed. It will lift your spirits – and I triple dog dare you not to dance around your kitchen.
Eric Holljes is a founding member of Delta Rae and is getting his own section here for 2 reasons. First, I owe it to him after writing a previous Delta Rae blog talking about how he doesn’t sing… my bad. How was I supposed to know the ONE night I see them – which also happened to be the first time I ever learned about the band – he had laryngitis? In my defense, I did pick up that he was extremely musical without him even singing – sooooooo give me a little bit of credit here, ok? (See that blog here: https://honeybeebuzzblog.com/delta-rae-saving-souls-right-in-the-middle-of-a-casino/) Second, his live streams are breathing life into me right now. This guy is talented – I mean really, truly, unbelievably talented. A few times each week Eric goes live on Instagram and plays a few Delta Rae songs along with any covers the fans request on piano or guitar. As he jokingly says after a few sips of bourbon “I am here for the people!” That statement has proven to be true, even if it means him learning a Disney song and being called Emo Hercules… he is a very good sport. Some of the fan requests have been spot on, though. His recent interpretation of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games was powerful and suited his voice perfectly. Eric is not only fearless with his song choices, he is also unwaveringly honest about his feelings. Whether talking about the emotional songs from his self-proclaimed Breakup Graveyard, the long day of quarantine he just had or an existential dilemma he’s been contemplating – Eric speaks his truth directly into the camera and reacts in real time to the comments rolling in. The group chat feels like old friends having a comfortable conversation – with some musical accompaniment of course. And on some special nights, if you’re very lucky… a few snarky Brittany comments can be caught flying by. There’s nothing like seeing Eric singing his heart out while Brittany writes “Wow, got anything sadder?” Again, for me it is all about the ability to connect with others right now and this particular group is being created and lead by one very talented musician, which is a bonus. Check Eric Holljes out on either his Instagram or the Delta Rae Instagram to catch a livestream – he changes it up so be ready for a livestream to start at any point. I mean, as a music lover you should be following both of those accounts already anyway.
Giving Back: #HeroBoxChallenge was created by Eric and another Nashville musician in connection to having items donated for front line workers in NY. A simple concept with a powerful impact – a way to help moving medical supplies from households to the front lines, where they are most needed. Simply put the items in any box, go to the charity website and find a hospital address to ship it to. You can even schedule the UPS pick up on that site, never having to leave your house to help those on the front lines. Go to www.myherobox.com for more information. Eric & Brittany took part in the #HeroBoxChallenge singing America the Beautiful while wearing bandanas as face masks to raise awareness for this cause. As one of those front line workers in NY that benefitted from this, my heart will be forever grateful to them.
https://www.deltarae.com/ for more information on Delta Rae