Nova Scotia

COVID-19 dims stage lights for these Cape Breton musicians

With tours cancelled and venues closed, some Cape Breton musicians say they are finding it tough to adjust to the extended time off.

Performers adjust to time at home as tours cancelled, venues closed

Colette Deveaux had been working on an album before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and was expecting to have a CD release party over the Easter weekend. (Submitted by Colette Deveaux)

Cape Breton musicians say they're having a tough time adjusting to the extended time off brought on by COVID-19.

There is no timetable for the return of concerts and performances even as restrictions start to ease.

Mairi Rankin, a fiddler and step-dancer from Mabou and a member of Beolach, said being at home so much has been an adjustment.

"I'm just getting used to actually being in one place for more than two weeks," said Rankin. "I think in about 20 years, I'm getting my maximum out of paying rent because I'm actually here for the whole time."

Rankin was performing in Germany, Switzerland and Austria two months ago when the tour manager instructed everyone to return home.

Singer/songwriter Colette Deveaux, who also also works as a ski instructor and a server, said she enjoyed the time off at the beginning.

"I'm very grateful for the break," she said. "It's nice to be able to take a breath, but I'm definitely missing the social aspect of it, for sure."

Deveaux had been working on an album before the outbreak of COVID-19 and expected to have a CD release party on the Easter weekend. But her band couldn't record in the studio and the album will have to be released at a future date.

Jordan Musycsyn, a singer/songwriter who also performs in the popular Cape Breton Summertime Revue, had solo bookings for the summer. They are cancelled, but he said the tour with the revue is a major loss.

"That's mainly the busiest two months of the year by far and I look forward to the summertime review every year," said Musycsyn.

He said he has been working on a home studio so he is able to start performing online shows.

Rankin said online music lessons have been getting popular over the last few years and that is what she has been doing to keep busy.

She said there is one upside to the time off. "I think maybe this might be the first year I get a tan," said Rankin.

Jordan Musycsyn, a singer/songwriter who also performs in the popular Cape Breton Summertime Revue, had solo bookings for the summer. They are cancelled, but he said the tour with the revue is a major loss. (Jordan Musycsyn)

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