West Virginia musicians excited to get back on stage

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The announcement of the return of Live on the Levee and concerts at the Convention Center is welcome news for many Charleston musicians, many of who have gone a whole year without performing.

“Before COVID you could find me everywhere,” said Shayla Leftridge.

Leftridge is a Charleston-area chanteuse of rock, soul, gypsy jazz and many genres.

She’s played Live on the Levee six times and is looking forward to being on stage again.

“A lot of us older musicians, it’s like a form of therapy, this is how we release our energy this is how we express ourselves and not being able to do that has been rough on multiple levels because it’s also supplemental income,” said Leftridge.

“A lot of us older musicians, it’s like a form of therapy, this is how we release our energy this is how we express ourselves and not being able to do that has been rough on multiple levels because it’s also supplemental income.”

Shayla Leftridge, singer

During the first days of the pandemic, musician Chris Vincent took to the streets as the “quarantine caroler” to try and lift people’s spirits.

Charleston musician Chris Vincent during the first days of the pandemic.

“I am excited by what I feel is a necessity to build a strong foundation with smaller more intimate settings,” said Vincent.

“What you have musicians doing now is a lot of live streaming and they talk often of reciprocating energy and how the connection with the audience is gone but that’s not the problem, the problem is that they don’t make any money off of live streaming,” he said.

Meanwhile, freelance musician John Inghram already has festivals booked in the tristate area.

“There are going to be a lot more opportunities this year I think,” said Inghram.

He says there’s a lot of energy surrounding the return of Live on the Levee.

“We’ve gone a year you know with no shows or very limited shows, so I know we’re all just excited for any opportunity to play and to work,” he said.

Applications for local musicians interested in performing this year for Live on the Levee need to submit an application by Friday 5 p.m. with the City of Charleston.

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