Monday, March 23, 2020

Neon Nurse Nikki's "Virtual" Nightcrawl

(Guest blog by Nikki Ruffling)

In an effort to try to keep things as normal as possible during this quarantine period, I have discovered a hidden gem among all the negativity: the Facebook/Instagram "live" performances. As I live alone, with no pets and a boyfriend who lives and is quarantined in Australia, one thing I am missing the most besides him is going to see my favorite bands perform! Now, I have found that these live performances on social media can feed my need and also provide a unique opportunity for musicians to overcome boredom and depression during this time. In this past week since the March 18th close down of live venues, I have seen 6 bands/musicians. The pros to this are I can have as many drinks as I want, lay around in my lounge clothes, and always have a seat in a non smoky atmosphere. Here's a little review of who I have seen so far:

First up was my friend Becky Lynn Blanca who lives in LA. She is a solo performer as well as the singer of Viva Los Blancos. Touring the world has been Becky's love and sadly when shows were canceled she needed an outlet. Almost everyday, she does a Facebook Live feed session singing and checking in with friends and family all over the world. She has a unique blend of blues, rockabilly, hillbilly and some jazz. She has a wonderfully refreshing voice, and amazing talent. Doing originals and covers, you can check her out at her FB page- Becky Lynn Blanca.

Next up is Patrick Genovese. Patrick has been playing around Las Vegas for longer than I have lived here. He has been part of talented couplings such as Strung out Sessions and The Parametrics, as well as his solo work. Pat plays all over town, in upscale steakhouses to local bars. Recently, Pat has gotten the position of General Manager of Craig Ranch Regional Park. I can't wait to see what he has in store once the quarantine is lifted for music at the stage there. Right now, Pat is doing live FB feeds playing covers, originals and has a positive mental attitude that is inspiring. You can check out his page at Patrick Genovese.

Saturday I watched No Que No on Instagram do a live feed house session with The Hideaway and If They Love You They'll Kill You. Sadly I didn't get screen shots of anyone but No Que No. No Que No is a premiere Latin Rockabilly band from Las Vegas. They are a swinging three piece and their performance made me want to get off the couch and dance !

The Hideaway is another high energy band, that makes you want to dance with their rocking tunes and stripped down lyrics. If They Love You They'll Kill You was an acoustic 2 piece on Saturday, they usually have a drummer and were doing some acoustic renderings of some of their best songs. You can find all of the bands under their band names on FB/IG.

Another daily Facebook live performer is Ken Osborne. Ken is 1/4 of the band The All-Togethers and he spends his hour or so playing TAT tunes, covers and live requests. I think that this would be hard to come off the cuff with tunes immediately, but Ken does this well. He infuses jokes, and honest talk in between and will cure you of any boredom you may experience. You can find his feeds on his FB page, or you can follow The All-Togethers on FB/IG.

 Next is Brandon Madejek. Brandon is also doing almost daily live feeds. Billed under his band Whiskey Breath, Brandon is outlaw country at its best. With a mix of cheeky lyrics and amazing vocals, Brandon also interacts well with the audience and takes requests. You can sit on your couch, have drinks with him and interact. It is fun and freestyle. Whiskey Breath is on FB/IG.

Lastly is Water Landing. Water Landing is pure punk pop fun. You can dance, you can sing, you can drink with these people and just let loose. The also do a mix of covers (spiced up) and originals. They did a full hour of songs and also took immediate requests of some of their greatest hits ! Just a great way to get rid of your blues !! They are also on FB/IG.

I will do more reviews as the weeks progress, I am hoping like all of us that this virus is controlled quickly and effectively. Be a good patient for Nurse Nikki-wash your hands, stay indoors if you are sick, don't hoard food, and be nice to your neighbors !