Maine Made Music
While I’m very fortunate that writing and performing music has taken me and my bandmates in The Ghost of Paul Revere to every corner of the country, and even around the world, there’s no feeling like coming home to Maine. In my experience there isn’t another place in the world quite like it, and the same can be said for Maine’s music community. And as Rolling Stone just wrote, “The industry is paying attention—NYC promoters Bowery Presents chose Portland as its first city outside of New York to operate venues in.”
The music industry has changed almost entirely in the past few years. Gone are the days of big record contracts, radio, music videos, and studio bands. This is the age of the middle-class musician, the age of touring once again. In fact, for bands like ours, the vast majority of a musician’s income comes from live performances. With the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, the future for many Maine artists is in jeopardy. Making things even more difficult, most musicians are independent contractors and small business owners, and therefore are not currently eligible for unemployment.
Mainers have always been an incredible and industrious people, able to weather any storm the coast can throw at us. However, my sincere fear is that this crisis will cause many, if not most, of those unable to make ends meet to abandon creative pursuits entirely. Even the smallest things can make a monumental difference in ensuring that this doesn’t happen. Here are a few ways to help without ever getting off the couch:
Buy band merchandise
One of the best ways to help out is simply by heading to your favorite band’s website and purchasing a T-shirt, poster, or an album. Merchandise has always been a great way to support bands, but it’s more helpful now than ever. Bull Moose Music is currently waving commission on all local music sales, and they’re offering free shipping on orders over $30.
Tune in and stay in touch
Going to a band’s social media pages and website will help keep you informed on what they’re doing to help themselves out in this time of need. Many bands are doing live performances, Q&As, or sharing unreleased music to stay engaged with their fans. The more people who log on, watch, and interact with these live streams, the more successful they are. Even a message to a band about a song or a favorite show you’ve seen can do wonders.
Donate, if you’re able
Many musicians are advertising ways that fans can directly help them financially. These include a monthly subscription to Patreon pages with access to exclusive content, online music lessons or song requests, or simply donating money directly to bands.
One of the most crucial ways to help out Maine musicians (and all Mainers) is for all of us to take on the responsibility of being community conscious and staying healthy. Self-quarantining is difficult, but if everyone tries their hardest to follow the medical community’s suggestions and guidelines, we can end this faster and be back out watching our favorite bands in no time. Bands and musicians will let you know when their next show will be, so stay connected and go out and see more live music once this is over.
Have a listen to the playlist below to hear some of my favorite Maine musicians.
Stay happy and healthy,
Griffin Sherry of the Ghost of Paul Revere