A Note From Lowery: How to support those in the live music ecosystem

Dear Friends:

There has been a lot of discussion on social media about the plight of musicians in the age of the COVID-19 tour cancellations. I can't tell you how great it is that so many people are concerned about the welfare of people like my bandmates and myself. However, I'd like to make a couple of suggestions for how and who to help in the live music ecosystem. This is just my opinion and I have no quarrel with other musicians that may see things differently. 

Also, I assume that you would first give money to someone close to you that has been impacted by the virus or lend support to someone more important on the front lines. You know like a single-parent nurse or EMT. Right? Then and only then if you really feel you can spare it would I suggest you help those in the music ecosystem. Got it? 

First a little background.

As a songwriter and a founder of the band Cracker I still earn royalties on recorded music sales, radio play, tv and film licenses, as well as streaming royalties (however small). I don't see this stream of revenue being diminished immediately by the pandemic. If anything it may go up. People like me do not need help. More at risk are the artists that never really had hits (low royalties), the side musicians (no royalties), road crew and indie venue employees.

Ok then, let's start with those indie venue employees. Without these folks, there is no touring. These folks often overlap with the road crew. Almost every road crew person has a "home gig" with a venue. Not always. But often. I fear that without these folks it will take a long time for the live music ecosystem to recover. 

The restaurant and bar business is taking a direct hit. There could easily be 6 million lost jobs in this one segment of the economy. While big live music conglomerates can likely support many of their employees through the crisis it is unlikely that your local shoestring indie venue can. In fact, anecdotal evidence suggests most of these folks have already been let go. 

IMHO If you want to help start here.

So if you live in Georgia you may want to consider donating to the 40 Watt Employee GoFundMe. Here https://www.gofundme.com/f/watt-club-relief-fund…

Find your local venue and see if employees in your town are doing something similar.

The next most vulnerable group are the sidemen. Many of these folks have their own solo side projects. You may have noticed their CDS and vinyl on the merch tables at concerts. This is supplemental income that many of these folks count on. I suggest you track down their websites, Bandcamp and/or CDBaby pages and pay for a download or buy some physical product. 

We currently are able to pay Cracker side musicians and crew for canceled gigs. However, if you wanted to help out our guys here are some links to their solo projects:

"Pistol" Matt Stoessel and "Superballs" Paul McHugh have Buffalo Hawk.
https://buffalohawk.bandcamp.com/releases

Bryan J. Howard has the Heap. They have a CDBaby account.
https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/TheHEAP
(Also if you need voice over work www.bryanjhoward.com)

My bandmates in Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker have these solo projects available:

Greg Lisher has a new album available on BandCamp
https://greglisher.bandcamp.com

Jonathan Segel has an incredible amount of music available here: 
https://music.jsegel.com/music

Victor Krummenacher has music here:
https://victorkrummenacher.bandcamp.com/releases

Johnny A Hickman has a new solo EP out called Dear John
he will have it available shortly at his store shortly
http://campstoverecords.com/store/

If you can't help please please don't worry. Take care of your loved ones first. And take care of yourself so that you may help others. We are all in this together.

David Lowery

5 comments

  • morst
    morst in a spaceship (actually in my room at home)
    Sensible advice, and GREAT LINKS! THANKS DOC!!!

    Sensible advice, and GREAT LINKS!
    THANKS DOC!!!

  • Steve Frank
    Steve Frank Covington, KY
    See you soon and will keep supporting. Loved your show in Columbus Ohio.

    See you soon and will keep supporting. Loved your show in Columbus Ohio.

  • Dennis Shields
    Dennis Shields Anywhere you need
    You guys are the best. Great suggestions. I’m going to put my mouth where my heart is most as far bands. And suggest you contact me, so I can be full time roadie for my favorite brothers. I don’t need pay only transportation cost that’s it. I’m clean living . Think monk or saint . Only vice is rock and roll and coffee. Always in great mode and willing to do what needs to be done. Email theleastius@gmail.com. Peace

    You guys are the best. Great suggestions. I’m going to put my mouth where my heart is most as far bands. And suggest you contact me, so I can be full time roadie for my favorite brothers. I don’t need pay only transportation cost that’s it. I’m clean living . Think monk or saint . Only vice is rock and roll and coffee. Always in great mode and willing to do what needs to be done. Email theleastius@gmail.com. Peace

  • Preet Shergill
    Preet Shergill El Cerrito, CA.
    I really appreciate your honesty and wisdom in helping of those really in need during these uncertain times. I guess I'm not a huge follower of the band however there are few songs we(my kids and I) still enjoy listening to this day, such as

    I really appreciate your honesty and wisdom in helping of those really in need during these uncertain times. I guess I'm not a huge follower of the band however there are few songs we(my kids and I) still enjoy listening to this day, such as

  • Preet Shergill
    Preet Shergill El Cerrito, CA.
    .... Low, one of our all time favorite, and others on that album I bought back in the 90's. If I could be at any help during the bands touring, like roadie, I would welcome the opportunity. One of my life long dream.... Not asking for any cash just the Joy of the trip. Wishing you crew and all members of the band members and their familys safe and healthy year. Rock On- preetss. sw@gmail.com

    .... Low, one of our all time favorite, and others on that album I bought back in the 90's. If I could be at any help during the bands touring, like roadie, I would welcome the opportunity. One of my life long dream.... Not asking for any cash just the Joy of the trip. Wishing you crew and all members of the band members and their familys safe and healthy year.
    Rock On-
    preetss. sw@gmail.com

Please or register to post.

Add comment