New Roots of American Music Podcast Features Interviews with Local Musicians Struggling During the COVID-19 Pandemic


The locally based Roots of American Music (ROAM) will continue its Garage Sale/Garage Band program this spring with some new elements added to make the program accessible to the Cleveland community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of holding fundraisers at local venues, the program has shifted online via a podcast series called The Pandemic Tapes, which will focus on the “creativity, struggle, and experiences of musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Pandemic Tapes will feature performances by Northeast Ohio musicians as well as interviews and commentary.

The first in the series features an interview with veteran local folk musician Charlie Mosbrook. Mosbrook, who serves as the president for Folknet and vice president for FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest), launched his career in 1988 as a street musician, and he quickly became a popular open mic host. In the Pandemic Tapes interview, he talks about struggling to make ends meet during a time when he can't play any gigs.

Episode 2, which should be up by the end of the week, will feature Juliana G. Tabor, a CMSD kindergarten teacher who writes her own tunes and uses roots music in the classroom. She has helped ROAM plan its Blues is the Back Bone program for kindergarten through fourth graders. It'll launch in the fall.

Each podcast will feature a one-on-one artist interview and will include the featured artist’s pre-recorded music. Interviews will be done remotely and will focus on how each artist is making a living during this challenging time. In total, there will be about eight podcasts. Each one will be about 15 minutes long.

Local musician and recording engineer Clint Holley of the Earnest Tube will conduct the interviews as well as host and produce the podcasts.

The Garage Sale component will feature an online sale of music-related items with all proceeds benefitting ROAM’s music education and outreach efforts.

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