Shake it ; Songbird Live to Launch Internet Radio Station Soon | Local News


Downtown Cleburne’s Songbird Live has been silent since October 11, when a coterie of cowboy poets and musicians took to the stage for an evening of western swing.

Quiet for now, said Songbird owner Tom Burkett, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.

“We are working to reposition ourselves,” said Burkett. “We have invested in increasingly high-tech cameras, controls and other equipment and are exploring opportunities to improve what we do for musicians and our audiences. “

2020 has been a tough year not only for Songbird, but for everyone who makes a living from music, said Burkett.

“CD sales have exploded completely over the past few years, so most [musicians] can no longer make any money from them, ”said Burkett. “The only thing left for many of them, especially local or regional musicians, is the live performance. Now, with COVID, that’s pretty much gone for now. “

Songbird can seat around 110 people which is part of its charm and is the reason why it has become a favorite spot for many musicians and music lovers in the area.

“Just that experience of not sitting badly around the house and being close to the artists,” Burkett said. “Which works both ways. Musicians love this intimacy as much as the public.

However, Pandemic Precautions and Requirements initially shut down Songbird and now only allows half of normal capacity.

“To be honest, I don’t see us coming back to full capacity until August,” said Burkett. “We’re going to get there, but it’s going to take time. That’s not to say we won’t have live shows by then.

“We will and we are working on it. But, for now, that will still have to be subject to social distancing and other COVID-19 security measures. “

In the meantime, the Facebook live shows are coming soon.

“That’s why we invested in the new equipment,” Burkett said. “A lot of local groups have done shows online throughout the history of the corona virus. Many of them are from someone’s living room or bedroom, not very professional looking and generally sounding terrible.

“That’s the problem, especially for bands that are going up or trying to reach a larger audience, it’s hard to get known and easy to be forgotten. This is where Songbird hopes to come in, with professional equipment and sound, and a suitable setting for bands to perform online.

“Since CD sales have plummeted, the music industry as it exists today is in a wounded world and just doesn’t have the infrastructure to sell them outside of the bigger bands, we are also working on ideas for pay walls and other things so that musicians can hopefully get money for their work.

On a larger scale, Songbird Live radio is about to come to fruition. The Internet station will broadcast via the website.

“We are working on it and it will happen very soon,” said Burkett. “The main focus will be on musicians and bands from the DFW region. We will not only be playing their music, but we will be broadcasting in-depth interviews about their music.

Burkett has said he looks forward to the release of COVID-19 and the return of Songbird Live to sold out, but also isn’t sure what it will look like exactly.

“When we’re all ready to go, it will be great,” said Burkett. “But I think a couple of things are going to be at stake then. You’re going to have a lot of people still nervous and scared to come back in public and in crowded situations.

“You also have to realize that a lot of people have adapted over the past year to the life of not going out, not going to the movies, concerts or restaurants. So even once we get past COVID, some of these people are unlikely to come back. “

All the same, Burkett remains hopeful that a semblance of normal is heading towards the turn and remains attached to his love of music.

“The point is, there are a ton of great musicians all over the place, including the North Texas area, musicians that most people have never heard of or heard of in large part because of the condition. current music industry.

“The record companies are not interested and the radio is not going to broadcast them. But, I will do my best to give some visibility to these great musicians who deserve to be heard.

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