TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Singers who will be performing on Episode 3 of “One Texas: Songs From Home,” talked about how their lives and the music business have changed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Friday morning.
Madison Stuart said that she was originally scheduled to graduate from Nashville’s Belmont University on Saturday, but the graduation ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that she is excited to have a chance to perform on “OneTexas.”
“Music is a great opportunity for me to reach people and just be there for people,” Stuart said.
The Dallas native explained that getting used to the “new normal” was definitely an adjustment for her. Stuart, who is majoring in voice and music business, said she and her classmates left school for spring break, and they never got a chance to return to class. Instead, they did their classes via Zoom and Facetime sessions with their professors.
Stuart said her last semester would have originally included performing music in front of her classmates and professors. She said that performing without any interaction from other people is tough for her because she likes seeing how people react to her music. Giving an example, Stuart said when she does Facebook Live performances, she can only see comments from her fans.
However, being stuck at home for weeks hasn’t been all bad, Stuart said. She explained that she has had more time to write and collaborate with other musicians and songwriters. Stuart added that she has also had time to practice guitar playing and has re-built her YouTube and Instagram pages.
Stuart said that the shutdown has given her a chance to be more vulnerable and intimate with her fans. Lyons added that the current times have allowed fans to see that their favorite musicians are people as well.
Even though Stuart likes to perform, she said she is still an introvert to some degree when it comes to performing in front of large groups. She said because she is an only child, she thought she’d be fine with having to stay home. However, she has come to the conclusion that she misses human interaction.
“I really miss interacting with people I don’t know,” Stuart said. “I miss sitting next to a stranger in a coffee shop or going to a movie theater and sitting with strangers.”
Stuart said most of her family still lives in the Dallas area, by she has family ties to East Texas as well. She added that technology has allowed her to keep in touch with her loved ones during this time.
New Braunfels artist Josh Grider also talked about his “OneTexas” performance.
From solo sets on storied stages like the Kerrville Folk Festival to dance halls across the Southwest to “rock yachts” and collaborations with his wife and fellow artist Kristi Grider, Grider is taking his sound further and to more people than ever before. And as an experienced craftsman approaching two decades in the industry, Grider is also jumping into the world of production in 2020 and beyond, helping to musically mentor up-and-comers in the scene. No longer the new kid, and not yet the grizzled veteran.
Chad Cooke of the Chad Cooke Band also talked about his upcoming performance. Cooke was joined by his 2-year-old son.
“Four modern-day cowboy crooners from Houston are paving their way in the Texas country music scene. In and out of honky-tonks from Oklahoma City to San Antone, the Chad Cooke Band brings their unfiltered version of Texas Country Music to whiskey-drinkin’, two-steppin’, rowdy fans, one night at a time.”
Grant Gilbert, a singer/songrwriter from San Antonio, also spoke to Lyons on East Texas Now on Friday. He said he was excited about the opportunity to perform on “OneTexas" and added that he and his band want to do whatever they can to get their music out there for their fans.
“Raised in Santo, Texas, Gilbert played his first date at age 16 at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Mineral Wells,” Gilbert’s bio says on the OneTexas website. "That single experience gave Gilbert the music bug. He started booking shows in clubs, restaurants, and coffee shops from Abilene to Fort Worth, doing at least one show almost every weekend since that inaugural Fuzzy’s performance. "
Episode 3 of “OneTexas” will also feature Josh Abbott and his band, the Chad Cooke Band, Clay Hollis, Grant Gilbert, Josh Grider, and a group called Monarch. For more information on the musicians and groups that will be performing Saturday night, click this link.