RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Although large groups are not allowed to gather at this time because of the coronavirus pandemic, some of North Carolina’s biggest music names will be Under One Roof this weekend, taking part in a livestream concert of the same name.
“When the COVID pandemic arrived in the U.S. and North Carolina, we knew pretty quickly that this was going to dramatically impact the arts infrastructure in North Carolina, and artists in particular,” said Sandra Davidson of the North Carolina Arts Council, who is co-producing and co-hosting the event. “We thought what better way to reach people, bring folks some joy and some community and also some awareness, than by putting on this concert of North Carolina artists, asking them to give their time and share their work, and raise awareness about how artists are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The livestream concert will run from 8 p.m .– 9 p.m. on Friday, April 24; Saturday, April 25; and Sunday, April 26. It is part of an initiative called Come Hear NC, developed by the North Carolina Arts Council and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Viewers are encouraged to donate to the North Carolina Arts Foundation. The foundation will send all proceeds to nonprofit arts organizations across the state that have established relief funds for artists impacted by the pandemic.
“This whole situation of where an audience cannot gather, is really the worst-case scenario for live musicians,” said Dave Wilson of the bluegrass band Chatham County Line, who will be part of Under One Roof. “Folks like the band, we make all of our living on playing live shows on the road. It’s been a tough transition.”
Along with Chatham County Line, artists committed to the event include Anthony Hamilton, 9th Wonder, Ben Folds, The Hamiltones, Petey Pablo, Tift Merritt, Jim Lauderdale, Steep Canyon Rangers, Joe Troop of Che Apalache and The Harvey Cummings Project. Davidson says there will be some live performances and some Q & A sessions included in the show. The goal was to bring together performers from different genres, to show the varied styles of the state’s music talents.
“It’s important to inspire, instill and give back to home," Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton said in a news release about his motivation for participating. "Home is where you first learn the value of trust. It’s important to be there for our own. Our artists deserve to be heard and appreciated. Carolina has some awesome talent.”
“Our mantra for Come Hear NC is ‘The Roots of American Music Run Deep in North Carolina’ and we aim to tell that story,” she said. “One of the things we discovered with all our documentation work and all of the support we’ve done sponsoring festivals across the state is that North Carolinians have such a strong presence in so many musical genres. This is going to be a special night because all of those artists you mentioned are going to be under one roof, and I can’t think of a musical event where that might have been the case. That is one of the things that I’m most excited about.”
Wilson says fans of CCL will hear music from the band’s upcoming new release Strange Fascination and some favorites.
“We’ve gone into the vaults and gotten some video footage from a concert in Greensboro at the Carolina Theatre there,” Wilson said. “It was the PLC Land Jam late last year that we played with another great North Carolina group Balsam Range. I think we do one song that’s going to be on the new album Strange Fascination, and just a lot of tunes from the catalog, and maybe a tune off our (Sharing the) Covers album as well. We really wish we could get together and play some music. It’s tough not to play with your buddies.”
Until they can get back on stage, Wilson and his bandmates are finding creative new ways to share their music with fans. They’ve done several weekly videos called 'At A Safe Distance", featuring Wilson, John Teer and Greg Readling performing together from separate locations.
“I’ll do a version of a song,” Wilson said. “I’ll send it to the guys, and they’ll video themselves playing along with it. We’ll mix that altogether and release that. We’re doing those every Saturday, and that’s been a lot of fun. To tell you the truth, there’s nothing like a live audience and a stage, and I cannot wait to get back up on that stage.”
Click here to visit the Under One Roof event page on Facebook, where you can watch the livestream.