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Pandemic straining local musicians with upcoming gigs

Coronavirus

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The coronavirus pandemic is keeping everyone inside, which is stopping local musicians from performing at venues, including violinist Kevin Lowther.

Lowther, also known as “The Big Lux,” is a veteran but also a full-time musician. He said prior to the pandemic, he averaged 10 gigs per month ─ performing at weddings and statewide events such as PVD Fest.

An event that was planned for Lowther to perform at, which is now cancelled.

“I had a big gig at The Knickboxer in Westerly, but in addition to that, I was supposed to play at the first induction at the New England Hall of Fame in March and the Battle of the Bands for PVD Fest,” Lowther said.

He said like other musicians, money has been scarce, but he is able to earn some money from deposits on future events.

“I also DJ and play classical music and do weddings, so luckily I do have deposits for those events from seven-to-eight months in the future that I am living off of,” Lowther said.

He also streams his shows live on Facebook, and said people have been generously donating during them.

But he doesn’t work alone all the time. He said he likes to invite other musicians to stream with him.

“Honestly I’m just trying to keep my expenses low and my head down and weather the storm,” Lowther said. “As a musician, you have two choices for how you are going to deal with the situation. You can decide to wait it out or you can use it as an opportunity to move forward and show your community what you’re about and leave this situation better than you started. There are things you can do.”

His advice for fellow musicians in his situation? Use the time to work on your craft and form connections with your fans.

“Just keep moving forward, we all need to take time to build our internet presence, our branding, talk to your fans and figure out what they want and what they have to say, you can work on your writing and recordings, you can be making demos or live stream for a venue,” Lowther said. “Keep your head up. Take care of yourself. Work out, take walks, whatever it does to make your body and your mind right. So when this is finally over, you’re ready to rock again.”

Lowther streams his music live on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon and on Saturdays at 8 p.m.

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