Thrill of live music important today

Thrill of live music

For those who love the thrill of listening to live music, these are silent times.

Live music venues are shutting down to COVID-19, leaving many musicians who rely on playing gigs for income in a bad spot. Jon Ingels, 43, of Waynesboro, is one of these musicians.

Ingels said he has also owned Eicholz Flowers for the last eight years, which has also shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The flower shop is my main source of income. I considered the music to be my part-time job, and the flower shop to be the full-time job. Music definitely was a source of income for me.”

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The outbreak has made times tough for Ingels, he said.

“I’m just getting by on what I have in savings,” he said. “I can’t sign up for unemployment because I’m self-employed. I’m just doing that, living off the little bit of savings that I have.”

Ingels said he would increase his volume of live performances when his shop was experiencing slow business.

“I’ve always been able to balance out my income,” he said. “If the flower business was slow, I’d turn to the music for more income, or vice versa. If the flower shop was busy, I could turn to the music. It’s a yin and yang for me as far as income. I always hit it hard in the summer as far as gigs, because my shop is pretty slow in the summertime.”

Beyond money, a spiritual boost

But beyond financial benefits, music gives Ingels a spiritual boost, he said.

“I’ve been performing live for about 24 years. It’s a release for me. It’s my artform that I’ve chosen to do. I used to paint, I used to draw a lot, but my music has been my passion. I just want to share with audiences and bring some kind of happiness to them — some kind of joy.”

Ingels said he has released two solo records of original music — “Eastern Stranded Time” and “A Nomad’s Manifesto”. He said his three main influences are Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Petty.

“I try not to stick to one genre, but it always seems to fall into an americana, blues-folk realm,” he said.

Having had significant regional success with rock band Big Whiskey and bluegrass band The Boro Boogie Pickers, Ingels said he enjoyed the yin and yang of playing both electric and acoustic music.

“I had a bluegrass band and an electric rock band,” he said. “It was the ultimate fulfillment of everything I wanted to get out acoustically and electrically, especially as a guitar player.”

Facebook Live streams, virtual concerts

Lately, Ingels said he is still able to feel the thrill of performing live by using Facebook Live streams, giving audiences a virtual concert.

“I’d like to do more, it’s just I want to find time to do it,” he said. “We’re all kind of cooped up in the house. A lot of people were asking me to do it, and at first I was a little depressed and I wasn’t going to do it. A few of my friends came to me and asked ‘why aren’t you doing this yet’?”

Invigorated by the positive feedback he received from his first Facebook Live concert, Ingels said he hopes to play more virtual shows.

Although Ingels posted a link to his PayPal and Venmo accounts for virtual tips, he said he would rather people be entertained than donate money.

“I don’t want to hound them for money,” he said. “I’m putting it up there. If you can pay, that’s great. But it’s not mandatory. I’d rather see people stay the whole time and not tip, than tip and only stay for two minutes.”

To listen to Ingels’ music, visit wwwjoningelsmusic.com

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