The Coronavirus has affected everyone’s lives and livelihoods. One profession hit hard during the stay-at-home orders, of course, is entertainment. No one understands this more than Nu-Blu, a full-time touring bluegrass band based out of Siler City, NC. They have a special free offer during the lockdown to keep music fans entertained.
“Our plan is to resume touring as soon as things open back up. But for now, we wanted to find a way to bring music right into people’s homes. We’ve decided to offer our DVD, The Stories We Can Tell, for free! You can get all the music, interviews, and track by track, all for free,” shared Carolyn Routh of Nu-Blu.
Order online at www.nu-blu.com. Use the code: freedvd.
“We’ve all been locked in just like you guys, and it’s getting a little crazy. We sure are missing being out on the road playing for everyone, and we thought, hey, why not just do something that could bring our show into people’s homes! So we are giving away a copy of our DVD to anyone that wants one. We hope to see you all and get back out on the road real soon!”
The vocalist and bass player elaborated…
“COVID-19 has been a hard hit for the band. We were in California when everything started shutting down. The dates we had left to play while on the West Coast were all canceled within a period of two days.”
“We finished shooting a video in the California desert for our new single, Horse Thieves and Moonshiners, and started back home to North Carolina. Soon after, our full tour schedule for the next few months started to melt away. All of our shows through the end of June have been canceled/rescheduled, many not until next year.”
So what does this mean for the working band?
“Unfortunately, we are still out of work at the moment. This makes things especially hard because Nu-Blu is all of our full time jobs. I always tell people, ‘If we don’t play, we don’t eat.’ That somehow doesn’t seem as funny right now.”
Carolyn’s husband, Daniel, is guitarist and vocalist in Nu-Blu. Other members of the band are Justin Harrison, mandolinist and fiddler, from Beargrass, NC, and Austin Hefflefinger, banjoist and vocalist, from Rimersburg, PA.
For almost two decades, Nu-Blu has been making remarkable strides in the music industry.
“Now at almost 17 years later, we have released 7 albums, 5 of which have landed in the Billboard Top 10 chart, and the DVD. We’ve had our music featured on CBS Sunday Morning, performed live on Fox, Imus in the Morning, the Huckabee show (yes, the former Arkansas governor played bass with us), and countless regional and local TV and radio networks.
“We’ve done collaborations with the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Sam Moore (from Sam and Dave), the original ‘soul man’ himself. We’ve brought in Grammy winners, Rhonda Vincent and Jimmy Fortune (of the Staler Brothers), for duets on songs. It’s amazing how each project lends itself to opening up another door or another rung up the ladder.
“Most recently, we were asked to become the full time hosts of TV’s Bluegrass Ridge show! Not in a million years, did we ever think we would get an opportunity like this! The show is syndicated weekly and we host 5-6 bluegrass music videos, along with an interview with a special guest artist or personality. The show has grown so much since we started hosting in August of 2018. Now we are in over 250 million homes each week! The greatest thing is that not only are people seeing us, but more importantly, they are seeing bluegrass and we are presenting so many other new artists and getting them in front of all those new fans!”
Bluegrass Ridge can be viewed online at www.bluegrassridgetv.com.
Though their professional lives have been greatly affected, the Rouths retain a positive attitude and stay focused.
“Despite everything else, it has been nice to stay still and just breathe. Our lives are usually so hectic that it’s hard to get things done at home. Business consumes a lot of time, sometimes more time than you actually have to allot. Being on stage is the fun part. The hard work happens behind the scenes.”
Even with shows canceled, the band still has several projects in the works.
“We’re taking time to put the final touches on our new CD (slated to release later this summer) and just launched our new single. During this time that everyone is shut in due to COVID-19, we think this is the perfect song to release. It’s all about where you came from and your family stories. What a perfect time to learn those great family stories and learn more about your history. Who knows, there just might be a horse thief or moonshiner (in your family)!
We’re also working on new music and revisiting our past catalog to spice up our shows which has been channeling our creative energy. It’s always fun to work on music and it’s a great stress relief.”
Nu-Blu has also been developing an on-line livestream website.
“We’ve not been sitting idle at home, in fact, just the opposite. We have focused on launching a brand new subscription site called Nu-Blu LIVE. Each month we will host livestream concerts, upload lessons for different instruments, and host live Q and A’s with different band members. Folks can subscribe on our website for only $2.99 at www.nu-blu.com/live.”
The performer does admit to disappointments while locked down.
“We all miss being on the road. When you are accustomed to being out over two hundred days a year, it’s hard to be grounded for an extended period of time. There are so many friends we miss getting to see, and lots of places we look forward to going, but that’s not happening right now. Playing music and traveling full time is very addicting, and we are all having withdrawals. We are also missing each other as well. Nu-Blu is family. We are missing making music together and just hanging out.”
Carolyn concluded by offering words of encouragement.
“It’s a frightening virus and it’s very real. I have heard from friends that know someone who has been infected. The best word to describe it is ‘beast’. We continue to pray that healing will soon come for all. I feel we all need to try and find positive ways to use our time. It’s important to not let yourself lapse into a bubble. Find new ways to keep yourself relevant.”