When the coronavirus epidemic cancels all of your live shows and tours, how do you connect with fans of your band? If you’re Durango-based roots band The Stillhouse Junkies, you hit the road anyway ... you just don’t go very far.
This Saturday and Sunday, The Rolling Junkies Revue Tour will stop at a total of 10 locations with very small audience: local front yards. By unloading from their van and playing not far from the curbside, the Junkies plan to provide some much needed live music without violating recommendations about social distancing.
“There are five time slots each day, next Saturday and next Sunday, and whoever signs up, we’ll just drive the van to their house and set up in their front yard,” said bassist Cody Tinnin. “We’re not going into anybody’s house or anything, and we’re going to stay socially distanced from everybody, but we’ll play probably only 30 minutes at each stop and then we’ll hop into the van and go on to the next place.”
Signing up for the shows is free, but the band will accept donations or tips virtually through Venmo and PayPal. Sign-ups are being conducted through a Google spreadsheet that will be posted on the Stillhouse Junkies’ Facebook and Instagram pages (@stillhousejunkies for both) May 3 through 7. The sets will likely consist of songs from its recent presciently-named album “Calamity,” with older favorites thrown in, Tinnin said. You can hear the band’s music on its website, stillhousejunkies.com.
The band held an online show early on in the pandemic on Facebook Live, but they’re excited to be able to see their audience again – even if its the size of a family and from across a yard.
Tinnin said the band got the idea from artists who are adopting similar means of connecting with audiences, such as pop-rock/Americana artist Amy Helm, who has been playing curbside at houses around Woodstock, New York.
“We were definitely pretty strict about the quarantine thing at first. But at this point, too, it’s pretty essential for our livelihood that we at least try to do a little bit here and there,” he said. “It’s literally just for whoever is in the household; we don’t want people to invite the whole neighborhood over.”
While the epicenter of this particular tour is Durango, the Stillhouse Junkies are also willing to travel to nearby communities such as Bayfield and Mancos. If this tour’s sign-up sheet fills up quickly, the band may repeat the tour with new locations in the near future, Tinnin said.