Quarantine Life, part 2

April 12, 2020
Slide & Banjo

Welcome to part two of Quarantine Life, featuring artists from Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth and more! It’s been interesting watching how the music world has responded to life off the road. Sure, tours have been canceled, and festivals have been rescheduled. What we’re seeing, though, is the bands and artists we love have adapted. Aside from a clear obsession with Joe Exotic and the Tiger King, we’re still seeing them live, but via stream – sometimes nightly.

A quick reminder about the questions, and if you want to check out part 1 of our series, click here.

1. What you have been doing with your time and to keep sane?
2. What are you listening to and reading? 
3. Latest Netflix discovery?  
4. What’s the one thing you could not do without right now? 
5. Any local business or group you want to give a shout out to who has been doing something in your area to help during these times that you want people to be aware of and support?
6. Any thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Adam Aijala /Photo: Josh Mintz
Adam Aijala / Photo: Josh Mintz

Adam Aijala – Yonder Mountain String Band
1. I bought a used VCR on eBay and am in the process of transferring a huge box of live Yonder VHS tapes.  I am laughing out loud a lot watching these videos. Most are around 20 years old between 1999 and 2003. Since I can only transfer in real time, it’s going to keep me occupied for weeks.
2. Ha!  Listening to old Yonder because that’s my option.  Reading mostly news, but in the midst of reading the Earthsea Cycle too.  
3. I hear Tiger King is great.  Just watched Chernobyl on HBO which was great, though depressing.  
4. Food
5. Sweet Bloom Coffee roasters ships to your house.  Good stuff.  
6. Wash your hands you filthy animals.

Anders Beck / Photo: Josh Mintz

Anders Beck – Greensky Bluegrass
1. I’m not so sure I’m staying sane, honestly. I’m trying to play music and write as much as possible, but these are crazy times and my mind wanders to that pretty easily
3. Tiger King.  Why do we love watching slow motion train wrecks?
4. The sweet woman sitting next to me throughout this quarantine
6. Hang in there and hug the people you love. Or at least FaceTime them and tell them that you love them.

Andrew Altman /Photo: Josh Mintz
Andrew Altman /Photo: Josh Mintz

Andrew Altman – Railroad Earth
1. Well now that everything is shut down, kids are home from school which means I’m doing a whole lot of parenting.  It’s quite a change but I’m embracing it and trying to get creative with my practice time. I’m revisiting a lot of classical music since it is easy to pick up, put down, and chip away at it for little pieces of the day as opposed to songwriting which requires completing a thought while it is fresh and shaping it into form.  I want to do some more internet collaboration and hopefully Railroad Earth will be doing some streaming but for right now we are all trying to heed the necessary precautions to make this thing go away sooner rather than later. 
2. I’m listening to loads of classical music and jazz. I have the radio on to WXQR or WBGO most of the day while I’m home with my 4-year-old mainly since it hardly feels like I even have time to flip a record from my vinyl collection.  Also, been listening to Kamasai Washington and Lana Del Rey later in the night after everyone’s gone to bed. My wife has been getting into programming so I’m reading some real page-turners like Structure and Integration of Computer Programs and Eloquent Javascript.  Jokes aside, there was a great book I read recently called Coders that talks about the impact of technology (and the people who shape it) on our lives right now that would probably interest most people. 
3.  The Lobster and Ex Machina were both great.
4. I imagine everyone would say the internet…lol.  That’s what’s keeping us connected in some small way and allowing some measure of musical collaboration from a distance.  On a smaller scale I would say some really good coffee. Budgets are going to get tight if this thing drags on and expensive coffee beans is probably the last thing I’d give up. 
5. I live in a neighborhood just outside of NYC so everything is shut down due to the COVID outbreak. All the businesses are hurting equally I imagine, and if they aren’t now they soon will be when everyone runs out of money for not being able to work.
6. I would say for anyone reading this to take the COVID outbreak seriously and do what they can to stop the spread of it.  The sooner we can get things under control, the sooner all our lives can go back to normal. I love practicing here at home and have a great family life as well, but our music community is something I am very grateful for and I can’t wait to see everyone again.

Brian Adams / Photo: Andrew Wyatt

Brian Adams – Deadphish Orchestra, High Hawks
1. Well, before the stay at home order went into place here in Colorado I got together a few times with Dave Watts from The Motet and Marcus Rezak from Shred is Dead and had some great jams.  Dave recorded our session and I think we came up with some great ideas to build on. We plan to revisit this project when the stay at home order is lifted.
2. I can’t quit listening to Lukas Nelson right now.  Killer tunes, great voice, and a solid band for sure.
3. I’ve been binge watching Better Call Saul.  I watched season one when it came out and then I kind of got busy and forgot about it.  It’s been really great catching up on it and I’m almost through season four at this point.  I love the prequel factor to Breaking Bad and the character appearances.  Mike (played by Jonathan Banks) is by far my favorite character in both series.
4. My hound dog Flash. We are hangin’ tough through all of this.  Best buds.
5.   I had a nice meal and a beer at Longs Peak Brewery here in Longmont the day before restaurant dining rooms closed to take out only. I haven’t ordered a to go order there yet because I’ve had so much food in my fridge but that’s sounding good right now.  Maybe I’ll go pick something up there later.
6. I’m just trying to make the most of these interesting few weeks so far.  It’s a great time for some home projects that I’ve never had time to do because I’ve been on the road so much.  Like organizing my storage room in the basement, or ripping up the carpet and restoring the hardwood floors in the bedrooms. I’ve always wanted to plant a row of Colorado blue spruce evergreens down a strip of my property that faces the main road for sound and privacy factors.  When it gets a little warmer out I think that’s another project I’m going to tackle. I will always be able to look at those trees in the future and reflect on this interesting time in the world when I planted them.

Phil Chorney – CEO & Founder Charm City Bluegrass/ Manager Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen/ Director of Marketing Yonder Mountain String Band/ Sales & Marketing Consultant MissionTix
1. Replanning Charm City Bluegrass Festival, working on a live virtual festival, working on live streams for Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen and working on marketing with Yonder Mountain String Band.
2. Listening to my vinyl collection (1 record per day). 
3. Unbelievable 
4. My family and kids.
5. Appalachian Bluegrass Shoppe in Maryland.   
6. Be safe, be smart and stay healthy.  This will pass, use music as a way to see past the darkness and into the light!  Support music online if you can.

Jack Cloonan / Photo: Ali Jay

 Jack Cloonan – Jack Cloonan Band
1. I’ve been learning a lot of Doc Watson on guitar and some fiddle tunes on mandolin to stay busy.  Been doing a weekly livestream with my Venmo which has been helping with bills, and I am considering going back to framing houses. 
2. I’ve been listening to New Orleans Public Jazz radio on my laptop.  Such unbelievable music came from that area that the station does such a great job covering decades of music.  Last night they were playing music from Senegal and Brazil, music I never would have found on my own. 
3. Tiger King 
4. Helps to have my dog, Curtis Mayfield. 
5. Bayaud Enterprises in Denver has been employing the homeless, paying them 15/hr to clean up rivers and creeks.  Also Jimano’s pizza and The Post fried chicken have been my lifeline during these times. 
6. Stay positive!  Have fun with your time and learn more music.

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