Tuesday Tunes 19: Lockdown Music – Part 1

Rather than finding a theme to throw songs at I thought I’d do something different for this week’s Tuesday Tunes. Musicians have been badly affected by the pandemic: many rely on the income they derive from touring and playing live, and this disappeared at a stroke when we went into lockdown (or quarantine, if that’s what you call it). I follow many musicians on Facebook and YouTube, and have been hugely entertained in the past four months by their efforts to replace that income.

Sometimes, these have been full shows from their homes, with a virtual ‘tip jar’ for us to give them something back. Others have been individual songs – either their own, or cover versions. And there have been many collaborations where bands get together via something like Zoom (other video link apps are available) and someone with some deft editing skills puts it all together. It seemed a good idea to share some of these with you, but when I sat down to make a list I realised there were so many that I couldn’t do them all in one post. So this will become its own little mini-series within my Tuesday Tunes ‘brand’ – at present I have two sets planned, but there could be more! I’m starting with four songs this week.

My first is from an English folk singer of whom I’ve been a fan for many years. I have all of her 16 albums and have seen her live in concert, and she never disappoints. Kate Rusby has been a solo artist for over 20 years but, as she is a folk musician, she doesn’t have much of an impact on the charts: her highest placing on the albums chart is #22 for her album 20, which was a reworking of 20 of her songs to mark her 20th anniversary. The impressive roll call of guest musicians on that album is testimony to how important she is in her field. She has a new album out on 14 August called Hand Me Down, which is a set of cover versions of other artists’ songs. The first track from the album which she released was The Bangles’ Manic Monday. Here is the video she and her family made for it in lockdown:

That is simply adorable. Daisy and Phoebe, her daughters, are utterly charming, and hubby Damien O’Kane isn’t bad either. That reached the iTunes top twenty singles, and was #1 in their singer-songwriter chart. But don’t just take the accolades from me – here is someone who really should know how good this is:

Another family group who have been among the stars of lockdown for me are the Clark family, from Tampa, Florida. The father, Colt, is a musician who I guess plays locally, but as a way of keeping their children occupied and learning they hit upon the idea of teaching them songs to play as a group. They uploaded one to YouTube for friends and family to see, and it took off in a huge way, so much that the family has been guests – from home, of course – on the Ellen show, and have been invited back after this is all over. They now have well over fifty of these songs. They don’t claim them to be professional by any stretch of the imagination, but they have been providing me with a much-needed dose of fun throughout the lockdown. This is the latest from Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids, published yesterday. It has a little bit of added lunacy at the beginning, but stick with it:

As you might have guessed, I do have a favourite in the band: little Bellamy, who is 6, steals every show with her dancing. The ‘Egyptian’ is one of her signature moves, and I was wondering how long it would take them to get round to this one – I hope Susanna Hoffs sees this too!

Keeping the family theme going for just one more. You probably remember John Fogerty from his Creedence Clearwater Revival days or his subsequent solo career, assuming you’re old enough, of course! During lockdown he has been revisiting some of his back catalogue, plus a few covers, with his sons Shane and Tyler and daughter Kelsy. These have either been from his home studio or his ‘backyard,’ which has some stunning location views. They also did a version of Centerfield from the Dodgers Stadium, in honour of his 75th birthday. This is one of my favourites, complete with an introduction from the man himself, explaining where the song came from:

See what I mean about that view? And it’s great to see that John is still as good as he ever was. If you liked that, there are plenty more on YouTube – I think he’s covered most of his old favourites now.

As this is a ‘special edition’ version I said I was going to give you a fourth song this week. I’ve kept these posts to two or three until now, but this one cries out to be included. It is by one of my favourite bands – Old Crow Medicine Show – and shows the fun, quirky side of the band, even in the most trying of circumstances. Black humour at its best:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this version of Tuesday Tunes. If you are watching musicians perform live on Facebook, YouTube, or anywhere else please drop a little something in their tip jar. It will be very welcome and, to borrow a phrase, ‘every little helps.’ Their music has sustained me through the pandemic, as I suspect it has done for many others.

I’ll be back with Part 2 of this mini-series next week. Until then, stay safe and well, and don’t forget to wear a mask 😉

©️Evening Standard

15 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 19: Lockdown Music – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Tunes 70: Eighties Encore | Take It Easy

  2. I really like your beautiful blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. great version of Manic Monday; love that her kids in the video as well. I look forward to checking out more of her music – any suggestions where to start?

    How can you not smile while watching the Colt Clark and the Quarantine Kids – they are having so much fun!

    and what can I say about John Fogerty – one of the highlights of the lockdown has been watching his performances.

    not too familiar with the Old Crow Medicine Show – but I do like the song you included..

    great post, Clive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jim, glad you enjoyed it.

      Kate is a big favourite of mine, as you probably guessed. She’s from a town called Barnsley, in Yorkshire, and is proud of her accent – which is quite pronounced in her singing. I think my favourite of her albums is Underneath the Stars, but they are all lovely. Her birthplace has a big tradition of community singing at Christmas and she has five Christmas albums so far: my favourite of those is Sweet Bells. Another good starting point would be 20, the album I mentioned in the post. It’s kind of a reworked ‘best of’ with some great guest artists.

      The Clarks have entertained me massively during the pandemic. As you say, they always make you smile.

      I know from previous chats that you’re a Fogerty fan too. Have you seen the latest, with all those fantastic cars?

      OCMS are classed as Americana/bluegrass so not to everyone’s taste. They’ve been quite active during lockdown. A couple of charity efforts – one in collaboration with Molly Tuttle ( a cover of Neil Young’s Helpless) – and Nashville Rising, on their own. Also a political song: Pray For America. Their best known is Wagon Wheel, which has a brilliant video.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thanks for the background on Kate; I look forward to checking out her music.

        I’ll also have to look at some more Clark videos.

        I have not see the latest Fogerty video…

        And I like bluegrass, so OCMS might be my kind of band…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kate’s music is very ‘English’ in style. Not sure how her regular stuff will cross the pond, but I look forward to hearing how you fare.

        Loads of Clark videos to keep up with! The latest Fogerty is Hot Rod Heart – just as good as all the others.

        If you’re looking at more OCMS do start with the video for Wagon Wheel – it is a lot of fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These are so great!! I LOVE Kate Rusby and her family. Any dad that will wear a tutu for his family is worth his weight in gold!! Bellamy is adorable and of course, you can’t go wrong with John Fogerty.

    Liked by 1 person

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