Bronson Hoover

What a difference a year makes. One year ago I was planning and packing for a month on the road with the Jose Ramirez Band. Over the years I’ve done many quick trips with various bands. A weekend in Ithaca, New York; a swing through the Carolinas; dates in NYC tied to shows in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But I had never spent a month in a van away from the comforts of home. What made the tour even more interesting was that I barely knew the three gentlemen I was about to bunk with. Spending 24 hours a day moving gear from the van to the club to the van to the hotel to the van to the club—rinsing and repeating—is a quick way to learn about someone. It was an amazing month and a complete joy to see so much of the country and meet so many interesting people. You can read my blog posts on if you’re interested. The tour could not have been better. I loved every minute … except for that one hotel in Ohio. That was sketchy.

That was a year ago. This summer we’re all stuck at home. All of us. Talk about contrast. The Jose Ramirez Band came in second place at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January and was subsequently planning tours throughout the US, Canada and Europe this year. Instead of being on the road, I’m sitting at my desk. On the road you meet a new person every time you turn your head. There are no new people in my office. I guess I’m building up some social-energy capital.

The pandemic has decimated the entertainment industry. Even the clubs around the country that are operational are running at half capacity. Everyone is feeling the pinch. I feel for my music brothers and sisters around the world during this unprecedented time. I’m fortunate to have an income source outside of my music. I can’t imagine the stress my friends are experiencing who rely on music to pay the bills. That’s one of the reasons we’ve decided to start working on this podcast. I was deeply honored to be asked by Nan Wray to be involved in this project. I love trying new things, and interviewing people is a very new thing. I hope to meet some new folks over the coming months with this podcast, and I hope you can meet some new folks too. Please drop us a line if you have someone you’d like to hear from. This project will change and grow as we navigate this new terrain. Thanks for joining us on the journey.

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