The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered local music venues, but it hasn’t shut down the music. Musicians play on, and the venues have become virtual.
One such venue, born a month ago, is South Sub Music Live, a Facebook-based venue for local musicians to perform and connect with their audiences. The group was founded by Steve Ploum and Anastasia Robieson as a community of musicians who perform live, but at the moment those live performances are all online.
“Of the course the pandemic prompted this, as we felt the need to perform, socialize, etc.,” Ploum said.
The inaugural virtual open mic was held at the end of March, and after working out the procedures, the Facebook group was created and a bigger open mic was held April 11.
On Saturday from 7 to about 9:30 p.m. Ploum and Robieson are planning try a new format, a featured artist with local supporting musicians.
Three local musicians who performed at the April 11 open mic will open for Nashville-based musician Tommy Womack. Justin Wheeler will open the show at 7 p.m., followed by Maddie Schmidt at 7:30 p.m. and Kelly Campos at 8 p.m.
Womack is a professional singer-songwriter from Kentucky and member of the 1980s-90s band Government Cheese.
To watch the performances Saturday, viewers can visit the group’s page. It’s not necessary to join the group to enjoy the show. Past performances are also available to watch.
The show will also be the first with support from the Homewood Arts Council. HAC co-founder Greg Loudon said the council was pondering whether to develop an online music event, but when they discovered South Sub Music Live, the organization’s leaders decided to throw their support behind a going concern.
HAC hopes to provide some financial support for professional artists who are out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ploum plans to set up a donation opportunity. HAC will then match donations made during the concert up to a certain amount.
The idea to have a featured artist serves two purposes, Ploum said.
“I like that it gives locals a chance to play for a larger crowd in the intimate arena we have been introduced to, and it allows me to talk more about Trail Mix, as all of the artists that are slated for headlining these events are Trail Mix headliners,” he said.
Trail Mix is the summer music festival at Izaak Walton Nature Preserve that Ploum founded several years ago. This year, the event will be primarily sponsored by the Wexler Group.