Pandemic Delayed Shootouts’ “Bullseye” Album
When the pandemic really took hold during the week of March 8, 2020, my band The Shootouts was in Nashville recording what was to be our next album, “Bullseye”.
We started recording that Sunday, and as the week went on the situation outside the studio walls was getting more and more serious day by day.
We were trying to focus on creating music, but couldn’t help but be distracted by the onslaught of COVID-19 news, as well as numerous emails and phone calls informing us of another performance. canceled.
By the time we left Nashville on March 17th, the whole world had changed. The Shootouts had a finished album, a freshly erased schedule, and no answers on the horizon.
Back home in North Canton, I did what a lot of musicians do after leaving the road: I focused on other things. I haven’t bought a guitar for at least a few months. I dove into finishing major renovations to my 90 year old farmhouse. I tried not to think about the fact that any momentum the band had taken from our 2019 album “Quick Draw” was completely cut short.
Honestly, if it weren’t for the day-to-day work around the house, I might have gone crazy thinking about it. I kept telling myself that, yes, we did indeed lose momentum – but so did every group and every company. The art world as a whole was at a standstill.
As the pandemic progressed and the idea of getting back to “normal” (anything these days, anyway) seemed more and more distant, I learned the importance of patience. Just as tearing your kitchen down to the poles and starting from scratch takes time, energy, and a mountain of forethought, making a record is no different – let alone making a record during a pandemic.
It all takes a lot of patience, which I haven’t always been known for. When I was younger, my impatience often led to a bad mood. While I have learned to cultivate patience better as I got older, the past year and a half has really tested that patience like never before.
Because the pandemic gave us extra time that we didn’t know we would have, we were able to slow down and re-evaluate what we recorded. It also allowed us to do a few overdubs during a socially remote recording session that we might not have had time for originally.
Unexpectedly, testing our patience ended up paying off. We ended up working on mixing and finishing the album from a long distance thanks to the magic of the Internet. It also gave us time to complete our behind-the-scenes team, bringing in a new publicist and a new label in the process. Collectively, we all had a lot to learn about album release during a pandemic.
“Bullseye” was released on April 30, 2021, almost six months later than I had initially hoped for. However, the extra time allowed us to make the record an even greater success than it could have been had we rushed to finish it.
The music business is no different from any other. You can get lost in the busy everyday life and easily forget about the big picture. Even in non-pandemic circumstances, it’s easy to get impatient when things don’t go as planned.
The forced slowdown that The Shootouts experienced was a lesson in patience that was much needed. While I don’t like the reason we got this break, I’m grateful for what she taught me.
Sadly, embracing patience is a lesson more people could have learned during this troubling and unprecedented time. If we were all a little more patient with each other, who knows where we would be as a country right now.
Patience can provide you with the opportunity to reassess, contemplate, and perhaps deal with a situation in a different light or frame of mind. If we all had a little more patience with each other, I think we would find that going through this pandemic – which we are still in the midst of – would be an easier and less stressful prospect.
And if that doesn’t work and you really want to learn a lesson in patience, just try a kitchen remodel.
For more information on The Shootouts and their latest album “Bullseye”, visit shootoutsmusic.com.
Ryan Humbert, who lives in North Canton, is the lead singer of The Shootouts.