BOISE, Idaho — As we told you earlier this week, out of an abundance of caution, Boise’s biggest homegrown music festival, Treefort, postponed their event again until next fall. This -- impacting countless local musicians and live music lovers.
But members of Idaho’s creative community aren’t letting that stop them from building each other up, and letting live music play on with a new social media series called 'Quarantine Sessions' by Boise's Valiant Productions.
But with the pandemic, one thing is clear: live music as we know it -- is taking on a whole new meaning.
“You’re so used to seeing people in the crowd, clapping for you, but these days you gotta get used to the comments!" said Naomi Psalm, a local musician.
Thanks to this virus, more artists are having to play to their webcam or alone in an empty room, which Psalm says presents its challenges.
“Performers, specifically, we especially need that," said Psalm, about having a live audience. "That feedback, and that boost of morale and that support."
That’s why Valiant Productions in Boise, an audio-video-lighting company that typically does events, hopes to be a source of support.
“We wanted to help out the community and help out musicians and keep our skills up," said CJ Hall, co-owner, Valiant Productions.
Valiant staff have been donating their time, efforts, venue, equipment, and expertise to local artists by taping a virtual live concert series on Facebook and YouTube called Quarantine Sessions.
Steve Fulton, local musician and owner of Garden City recording studio Audio Lab, appreciated the idea and came on-board to be a booker for the series.
“I just told him that I could help him fill as many dates as he wanted, because there are so many great artists around here," said Fulton.
The series aims to empower those great artists, like Psalm, and show support for some good causes.
“As they’re performing, people can contribute," said Fulton.
“I thought we could have bands choose a charity they could raise money for," said Hall.
The artist's chosen charity is hyperlinked in each live session's comments section. Psalm, who performed live in her session on Tuesday, chose Women’s and Children’s Alliance.
“They’re an organization that’s very close to my heart," said Psalm.
But artists also get to walk away with some exposure -- something that is hard to come by during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It's gonna enlarge my fanbase, for sure, because you do a local gig, and you get maybe 12 people out from the local area," said Psalm. "But doing something online, where everybody can access, and then, like, tomorrow I can host a 'watch party' on Facebook, and then you get the people from England."
Valiant Productions also records their session and gives them a performance tape of the highest quality.
“It’s really fun to play music when you have an amazing sound system -- makes all the difference,” said Psalm.
Fulton and Hall pointed out that some of the artists may use what they've already recorded on future albums.
“We multi-track record the audio," said Hall.
This -- also proving that despite the sometimes uncomfortable shift to virtual, with the support of others and a positive outlook, local musicians can rebound from this.
“It’s as if they’re clapping for you and so you just have to pretend that they’re there — and they’re supporting you," said Psalm.