Social media has been a key coping mechanism for musicians and fans. Sloth Astronaut/Shutterstock.com

Social media has become an essential lifeline for staying connected to the music world during these strange, anxious times. Tours and shows have been canceled, and it’s impossible to say when we’ll be hearing the beeping sound of a ticket being scanned, let alone the roar of a crowd or even a “Dude, watch it with beer!”

From U2’s Bono sharing a new song on Instagram live on St. Patrick’s Day called “Let Your Love Be Known” to all of the local acts jumping on Facebook and Instagram and playing a few songs or full-on shows, social media has become vital for maintaining some semblance of connection to the healing powers of music. Heck, there’s even a Quarantine Karaoke Facebook group, and I’m about three days away from shaving my head and performing a Sinead O’Connor song to ease my pain of having her Boston shows postponed.

Here’s a sampling of what the local music community has been up to and where you can find it online:

Auburn singer-songwriter Brooke Lachance said in a Facebook post that a few friends had been asking her to record “Amazing Grace” for them, but she never got around to it. She did, however, find a few extra minutes last week to finally sit down and unleash her gorgeous voice on the song.

I reached out to Lachance to find out more about the recording, and she said she got it done in about a half hour. Lachance has a family friend who is sick, for the second time, with cancer, and Lachance wanted to do the song to honor her friend’s fight and determination and to show support and faith to all who need security. Lachance also said she had her late grandmother in mind.

“It was hopeful yet soul-jerking to record it in the midst of this pandemic. I felt I needed to remind myself that it’s for a future of perseverance, as opposed to goodbyes. It’s a popular funeral hymn that I have sung hundreds of times. This time it was for hope,” she said.

Hear “Amazing Grace” at facebook.com/songsfrombrooke.Or at  bandlab.com.

Earrings made by GoldenOak’s Lena Kendall are now part of the bands merchandise collection. Photo courtesy of GoldenOak

Portland indie soul-folk quartet GoldenOak said it is about two-thirds of the way done recording its next album, but the group isn’t certain when it’ll be able to get back into the studio. The group did promise a sneak peak within a few weeks, so keep an eye on its social media accounts.

In the meantime, GoldenOak has gotten creative with its merch offerings. Singer Lena Kendall has been crafting earrings and pendants from the strings of old instruments owned by her bandmates Mike Crowell and brother Zak Kendall. Merch sales are more important than ever to bands. Scoop up GoldenOak swag, including the new jewelry pieces, at goldenoakband.com.

Bull Moose is doing its part to help the local music community. Through at least April 30, the Maine record store chain won’t be taking its usual commission on local music sales, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to the artists. Bull Moose CFO Chris Brown said in an email that the he hopes sales of local music will go up as music fans realize the artists need help. Head to bullmoose.com and start shopping. The brick and mortar stores are closed until at least March 28, but all of their employees are still being paid as if they’re working their regular shifts. Well done, Bull Moose!

Southern Maine five-piece bluegrass act The Grassholes has been writing songs inspired by current events and sent me a demo version of one called “Aftermath.” The song features Sam Pfeifle singing and playing acoustic guitar, and it includes the lines, “We’ll still have coffee, something to read/Tell me what you did today/Might be simple, it might be hard.” Pfeifle said in an email that the band hopes to eventually release an album of about 10 songs called “The Corona Chronicles.” You can listen to “Aftermath” on YouTube.


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