It was mid-March when the lockdown began in the state of Georgia. Promoters and artists alike are scrambling to rethink the future of live shows and concerts. Most independent music artists are now left creating more music than ever and without a stage to share their new work.
“There isn’t a local musician that haven’t been creating during this lockdown. I have heard from songwriting to records being made. You have a tough situation that is affecting so many and it is a good recipe for any country song,” said Damon Mailand.
Mailand has always loved music; his father played guitar and began teaching him chords at about the age of four. As an adult, he crafts and designs guitars for Benedetto guitars. To say that Mailand’s first language is that of guitar chords and melodies would be a statement.
Mailand, who is the lead singer for Damon and the Sh!tkickers, and his band has become quite an institution locally. Each Saturday, the band plays at The Jinx for their Happy Hour, and have a huge following.
“I’ve missed playing at the Jinx with the guys and it has become one of those things that is second nature,” Mailand said. “Being away from the stage has sparked a bigger need to perform and this is why we are so grateful to the folks that organize the Quarantine Series. It has been a phenomenal creative outlet for so many local artists.”
The Quarantine Concert series gives a stage to local artists for a chance to continue performing as well as accept donations from viewers while venues go dark. Damon and his bandmates are ready to take back the stage even if it’s virtually.
“I have kept in touch with the whole band, and Anders and I had the chance to create a video a couple of weeks ago during isolation,” Mailand added.
“We have revisited so many old songs and we even have some new ones. The Quarantine show will be special one because at times we don’t get to revisit our older material and the time off has given us some new material as well. The combination of both materials should make it a good show. Anders and I are always writing – it never stops. So, get ready for some new material.”
Eventually venues will have to revise their business practices and create a new norm as to how we watch a live performance. It is difficult to stay six feet apart in most of the downtown live music venues and reducing capacity eventually will hurt venue owners. Right now, the state of Georgia is contemplating in opening bars back up at the end of the month of May, but it is uncertain what the future holds.
“I understand that venues will open again but I am not certain when the audiences will come out again to enjoy the music. I hope is soon,” Mailand said. “But there is no doubt we will never forget this ordeal and there is no doubt it has changes us forever.”
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