Next Normal: Musicians discuss entertaining during COVID-19 pandemic

Next Normal: Musicians discuss entertaining during COVID-19 pandemic

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - COVID-19 has had many rolling repercussions felt throughout the world. Unfortunately, that has also included entertainment that might take our minds off the pandemic for a while.

KLTV talks with a couple of people in the music industry to see how they are adjusting to the Next Normal.

Longview’s Neal McCoy has been spending a lot of time at home the past few months, and members of his band are also on hiatus. McCoy says one of his musicians is:

“Multi-talented, and he’s working at H.E.B. in Houston, and another one works in Wal-Mart, I think it’s Sulphur, Louisiana. They went and got jobs. And some of them were fortunate enough that they got on early and were able to get unemployment,” McCoy said.

He’s had two paying gigs during a time when he’d normally have dozens.

Michael Boring
Michael Boring (Source: Jamey Boyum/KLTV)

Michael Boring works at Mundt Music in Longview. He’s in a local band called Deathrow Bodeen which is not performing and he’s glad he has a day job. He’s also the Guitar Tech for King’s X, which formed around 1980 and typically tours around the world.

“They’re not working. They’re releasing solo material, things like that. They’re finding avenues but those guys are spread all over the country,” Boring said.

Some high-level bands are streaming pay concerts, although that takes resources entertainers like McCoy don’t have. But McCoy has been doing some free streaming on Facebook.

“I do a concert every Friday night. I call it the Karaoke Kickin’ Corona Concert 2020,” McCoy said.

In fact, he’s printed that on T-shirts that he has for sale and offers them during his shows.

“Hey if you’d like to buy a T-shirt I’d love to have you, if you don’t want to, just enjoy the concert, that’s fine. And, by gosh, we’ve had a lot of people just buy a T-shirt. And it has gotten us through some of these times because it’s sure helped,” McCoy said.

So right now smaller bands, and even most of the well known entertainers, are getting creating about earning a living, or just getting a regular job.

“We’re talking about supposedly doing an October deal but I just don’t see it happening yet. I’m interested in seeing how it’s going to turn next year,” Boring said.

If it stays the same many famous, and not so famous, musicians may be filling out job applications in the Next Normal.

McCoy said he’s canceled about 50 shows and the few he’s done have had limited attendance because of social distancing. He said his upcoming Angel Network concert, to benefit needy East Texas children, may become a streaming event.

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