As a means to bring some joy to the uncertainty of things in the world right now, Temecula’s Old Town Blues Club owner, Andy Doty, plans to host virtual concerts for those looking for some entertainment. Doty, who has lived in Temecula for more than 20 years, is a Chicago native and opened his establishment in 2015. Since its opening, OTBC has been a place where patrons have grown accustomed to enjoying drinks and live music and entertainment, including dueling-pianos, stand-up comedy and more.
With his establishment being shut down due to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders to stay at home issued Thursday, March 19, Doty, like so many others, wants to find a way to use his place of business for the betterment of things in the world.
“I’m a lover of music,” Doty, who also plays rhythm guitar in two bands, said. “I can’t go without it. Music is the universal connector between all of us. I want to help with the increase of human connectivity during a time when staying at home is so important.” Andy also said on social media that during times of war, the USO would at times go into high risk areas to provide some sorely needed comical and musical relief to the troops. It provided some connection to all things good in the world and reminded them that they have not been forgotten
Doty did a test run by livestreaming performances two weekends ago for free, from bands like Len Rainey and the Midnight Players as well as the Honey Lickers. The online feedback was well received with the performances getting over 5,000 views online.
“Old Town Blues Club is going to attempt to do our share for the mental and emotional health of the community,” he said. “I have some amazingly talented and considerate friends who share my opinion and we want to bring some high-quality entertainment directly to anyone that wants to join us via our livestreaming platforms.”
The goal is to have an online-interactive communication with the band leaders and the plan is to do 90-minute shows with no breaks, except only to comment to participants. He said the club has tried online streaming before but never something quite like this performance.
“Typically, we will take some video during a performance, two to three songs at most of any particular band for the home viewers logged in onto my FB page, and then it becomes for the archives,” Doty said. “We are also hoping to utilize applications where viewers can tip the bands as well. It is all a work in progress, but it is much needed right now, and we know it.”
Doty said he plans to abide by all regulations and guidelines as directed by the authorities regards to social gathering, so at this time, the business is to be closed to the public, with no more than 10 people in the club at any given time, separated by six or more feet.
“It will be the band plus myself and a sound engineer,” he said. “There isn’t much good right now with the current COVID-19 crisis, so it’s times like these when we get most creative and use our ingenuity.”
If and when more online shows take place, the information will be posted at www.facebook.com/oldtownbluesclubmusic. That page will be used for most of their communication at this time, Doty said.
“There were a few bugs to fix, like shaky cameras and some buffering issues, but we hope to solve those issues for the next time we do this,” Doty said in an online post. “We look forward to having fans join us online as we work to together to bring a little musical mental getaway from this new normal, for now.”
JP Raineri can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.