Upstate singer/songwriter/guitarist Angela Easterling has played in a lot of different venues during her career. But the one that was the hardest to adjust to was her house.
Ever since COVID-19 made live shows difficult, if not impossible, to play, Easterling has been one of the many musicians who has turned to livestreamed shows, playing with her partner, guitarist Brandon Turner, in their home and broadcasting live from her Facebook page.
The audience that Easterling had cultivated over the years with her catchy alt-country tunes essentially got to watch as she and Turner figured out how to livestream in real time.
“It’s been a pretty huge reduction in work for us, and having just that little bit has has definitely helped financially for sure.”
“The only kind of livestream shows we’d done before this was when we went to a venue and they had some kind of livestream setup they did on a regular basis,” she says. “We had no idea what we needed to do, what kind of technology we had, if what we had was compatible with it. We kind of had to learn as we went along.”
The learning curve has caused Easterling and Turner a few awkward moments.
“I did one concert for the city of Greenville and was supposed to broadcast on their page,” she says with a laugh, “and I didn’t find out until the whole thing was over that I had accidentally broadcast to my own page. I was just happily playing my little show, everything going fine, and meanwhile the guy from the city is frantically calling me asking, ‘Is everything OK? Where are you?’”
Luckily, though, Easterling says that her fans have come along for the ride, even when that ride shuts down temporarily.
“We had no idea what we needed to do, what kind of technology we had, if what we had was compatible with it. We kind of had to learn as we went along.”
“The last time we had everything set up perfect,” she says. “We had everything how we wanted it. We started off without a hitch, and then halfway through the show, our internet went out. It was just maybe a minute, but it was long enough to throw everybody off that was watching us, and we had to get back on. And we when we started back broadcasting, we saw our numbers going back up and up. They were finding us, they wanted to watch us, and they liked what we were doing.”
Livestreaming shows also allows Easterling and Turner to collect tips while they’re playing, so the performances are a crucial source of income for a two-musician family.
“Brandon, because he plays with so many other folks, he was playing almost every day of the week before all this happened,” she says, “and then I was playing probably three or four times a week at least. It’s been a pretty huge reduction in work for us, and having just that little bit has definitely helped financially for sure.”
With a new album on the horizon in 2021 and a new Christmas single called “Party ‘Round My Favorite Tree” available, Easterling says that she and Turner are anxious to get back to live performance, but for now they’re still enjoying the livestream experience.
“We didn’t even get to travel this year,” she says, “but I can still perform for those folks and interact with them and talk to them, and that’s been really great. It makes you feel like, well, you know, I’m not out here trying to find the COVID vaccine, but maybe what I’m doing helps somebody feel better in their day.”