New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
As the Thanksgiving weekend is fast approaching and bars and music venues are shut down across most of the USA due to the spread of COVID-19, is there live music to be found on Fridays?
Look no further than Facebook Live, where elementary school music teacher turned music performer, Mary Bolton, takes the virtual stage Friday nights at 8 pm central on her page @MaryBoltonMusic, just as she has since the stay-at-home order was announced in mid-March.
Bolton's smooth, sultry voice and keyboard skills allows her to move easily between the rock, country, smooth jazz, folk and trop rock genres. Every Friday night Mary performs - what she calls a #VirtualMusicParty - a 75-minute musical party emceed by her husband, Chuck, at their Orono, Minnesota home.
This Friday, November 27th, Mary will perform The House is Rockin' set at 8 pm central. She will play and sing covers from The Black
Crowes, Kiss, Tom Petty, REO Speedwagon, Guns N' Roses, Poison, Cheap Trick, Lover Boy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin
When Minnesota Governor Tim Walz shut down schools and ordered stay-at-home in mid-March, schools began distance learning shortly afterwards. While Mary's first priority is her daily teaching, she felt there was more impact that could be made to help others through music. As a lover of live music, with the live music venues closed, Mary took matters in her own hands, to lift the heart and spirits of others and help them forget about their worries every Friday night.
Mary Bolton's purpose is, "I know how powerful music can be in someone's life and how much joy and positive energy it can add. My purpose is to bring joy to young and old by sharing songs that inspire." She lives her purpose each day as music teacher at Hanover Elementary School and now as a Friday night musical performer.
With the November four-week executive order to dial back activities to slow the spread of COVID-19 in place, Mary said, "People miss going out and hearing live music. We're all stuck at home for the foreseeable future. But people can still enjoy live music. We just have to be a little more creative."
Since her first #VirtualMusicParty, Mary has sung and performed thirty-six Fridays, typically performing 14 songs. Each week brings a new theme and Mary has performed over 500 songs from 148 artists. The livecast is full of audience participation and engagement, with her husband commentating and giving online shout outs to make the viewers a part of the party. Mary enjoys a global audience with fans from across the USA and regular viewers from Canada, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Each week's performance is chronicled @MaryBolton with the videos receiving nearly 200,000 views.
On May 7, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called out Mary and her weekly Facebook Live events as his "Good Story of the Day", during his COVID update. Walz said, "I want to say thank you for that, Mary. I'm trying to pump your numbers up this week, because it's really great - not just reaching out to her students or others but using her talents to kind of brighten the day."
Mary said, "With the live music scene being shaky due to the crisis, I plan on continuing to perform Friday nights on Facebook Live until we get back to a new normal."
With the COVID-19 crisis raging and many suffering from illness, fear, loneliness and grief, Mary Bolton is lifting hearts, having a great impact on others during a time of need. At a time when we could all use a little more inspiration, she's bringing joy to young and old by sharing songs that inspire.