For Steve Kerin, music once a day makes bad vibes stay away
Have keyboard or guitar, and Steve Kerin travels and plays music at obscure locations, all in the name of "creating a sense of community … and for my own personal sanity."
The Portland musician marks one full year — 365 days and counting — of playing music at different locations each day and livestreaming it on Facebook Live at 4 p.m. He started on March 21, 2020, a Saturday, and celebrates the full year's worth of daily mini-concerts Saturday, March 20, at an undisclosed place.
"We're not trying to draw a crowd. A big part of it has been to give people some entertainment while not encouraging people to go out and see music," he said.
It has been a fun way for Kerin and his wife, Jane-Clair, to bring joy to people via Facebook Live.
A Cajun and zydeco musician originally from Louisiana, Kerin has played in many bands in Portland in the past 15 years and alongside the likes of Lloyd Jones, Curtis Salgado and Trombone Shorty. He played regular gigs in the days leading up to March 2020 at Spirits Pub, Clyde's Prime Rib Restaurant and Bar, McMenamins Chapel Pub and Laurelthirst Public House.
Then, the live music world came to a screeching halt. Kerin played a couple livestreaming events with bands, and put on his own show on March 21, 2020. Little did he know that the livestreaming would continue every day for another year and take him to various Pacific Northwest locations, including:
• Yachats, on the beach
• Gabriel Park
• Portland Women's Forum State Scenic Viewpoint in Corbett
• Hood Canal on Washington's Olympic Peninsula
• Outside Keller Auditorium
• Under a boat dock in Stevenson, Washington
• On top of a Columbia River floating home
• Mount Hood
• A hemp field by Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn
• On a property in Mosier above a vineyard
• Rose Garden and Hoyt Arboretum
• Friend Norman Eder's driveway
All the videos are on his Facebook Live page.
"I've been all over the place," he said. "It's interesting, because in order to do a 4 o'clock show, I have to be someplace where I can get phone service. I have an app on my phone that allows me to check for phone service."
He'll play Cajun/zydeco music and more with his piano, guitar, autoharp, ukulele or accordion.
After a couple livestreams, "it was so easy to do," he said.
"It's kept me motivated. I've learned a lot of new music and stayed connected with a lot of people. It's given a lot of people something to do, to feel connected and happy."
Some people have gravitated to his live performances, because it's a little odd to see a fellow playing music at a place like a beach or hemp field or on top of a floating home.
"People will hang out and watch from a safe distance. It's never been weird," Kerin said.
Kerin and his wife also had to make do without their usual Portland Mardi Gras celebrations. They formed Mysti Krewe of Nimbus, which puts on a Mardi Gras parade and party, 11 years ago, and they serve as captains.
"This year we did do a little Mardi Gras parade, and that was when the ice storm happened," Kerin said. "A few of us got together and drove our normal parade route."
Kerin plans to continue his Facebook Live livestreams, but limiting shows to Mondays-Fridays and then down to one day a week.
"I've done around 2,500 songs," he said. "People send me requests every day. If I played songs I knew, I'd run out of songs. I've been getting pretty good taking songs I've never heard and learning (them) quickly — all genres."
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