Local musicians keep spirits up with BoCo Music concerts

Published 5:53 pm Thursday, April 23, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Music can be therapeutic for the weary soul. Even in the worst of times, a sweet melody can melt all the stress of a long day away. While most folks are staying home, the BoCo Music Facebook page is giving musicians an outlet to continue playing their tunes, and in turn, give music lovers a concert-style performance from their own porches.

Meg Howdy, the creator of the Facebook page, said she had been doing a lot of research on how to help business owners in the area.

“I came across this group and it was called, ‘The Socially Distant Fest.’ It was a way for people to play live music and display their talent. So when we get back to the real world, people can book gigs based off of that,” Howdy said. “It’s also just something different. Everybody is finding new ways to entertain themselves, and we all miss hearing live music. There are so many talented people in the Washington and the Beaufort County area, and we wanted to do something for the local groups that we have here. It was just the right thing to do.”

Howdy said the page essentially runs itself, allowing anyone who has the urge to play music to play at their leisure, as long as certain rules are followed.

“The group really needs to run itself. We require no bad language, but really just anytime someone wants to play music — go for it,” Howdy said. “One thing, too, is to make sure no one is going live at the same time.”

Cierra Linton, a local artist and singer from Washington, jumped on the BoCo Facebook Page on April 7.

“I have been singing a lot of gospel to spread a little inspiration, just to let them know they’re not going through this alone,“ Linton said. “It’s been a struggle for everybody because everyone is going through all these major changes that we’ve never really been through. Music really speaks to people, and can help them during these times. I know it does for me, anyway. I love to sing, so I think, if it helps me to do it, then it can help them.”

Linton also broadcasts live music on her own Facebook page, usually accompanied by her father, D.C. Linton.

“When I first started out, was when I was little, in church. I pretty much sing with my dad, pretty much 24/7. Singing with family is pretty much what I do,” Linton said. “I’ve been writing a few new songs, I have performed a new one a couple times at some of my gigs called, ‘Wild.’ But I haven’t had a chance to get in the studio with it yet, but I am writing more songs.”

Longtime musician Wayne Stoeckert has also made appearances on the Facebook page, and has enjoyed doing so.

“This platform has been out for quite a while. It was mostly just used for posting videos. I have a lot of friends that are local musicians, and this is a way to move forward. It’s a slight sliver lining in the mix, because this gets out to club owners and bar owners who are paying attention to the site and can get more gigs out of it,” Stoeckert explained. “I think it’s a great platform, and it’s going to have tons of benefits. … This is a great way to stay connected. People love live music.”

Tips for the musicians are helpful, according to Howdy. A lot of the artists are not getting booked for shows at the current time, and the cash flow has diminished. When artists go live, they typically mention ways to contribute through a form of payment apps.

“I will be putting together a spreadsheet soon so people can follow up with all the musicians, as well as if they want to book them down the road. They will be able to see all that information on the spreadsheet, and I will post that within the group,” Howdy said. “This is just a really great way that we can support one another financially where we can, but also emotionally. We can lift each other’s spirits