Having recently moved to Sun City from Florida’s Gulf Coast, musician Jesse Allen had hopes to find venues to bring his live performing out west.
After all, his show back in Fort Myers featured sets ranging from Motown to Southern California (Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Jackson Browne) to 60s-70s pop (Three Dog Night, The Rascals) at gigs three nights a week in hotels, beach bars and restaurants. Arriving in the desert in September where he and his wife would be closer to Arizona family in Peoria left him time, seemingly, to prepare to schedule 2020 gigs in his new home.
Obviously that all changed.
“Corona hit and there is nothing to book, and you can’t even scout out venues because nothing is open and you can’t even meet other musicians,” he stated via email May 8.
He did manage to perform a set at Paulie’s Little Taste of Italy, 15456 N. 99th Ave., Sun City, before things started shutting down, and he does have more bookings there this month pending safe accommodations.
In the meantime, Mr. Allen has done the next best thing. He keeps his music chops hot while entertaining neighbors by providing free driveway concerts from time to time at his home on Kingswood Circle. A recent 90-minute show drew almost 50 listeners, who all practiced safe social distancing while spending some fun time with neighbors.
“I was pleased at the social distancing that was practiced as I had some concerns going into the event,” he said. “You want to improve the quality of life not create a threat.”
In his music career Mr. Allen has opened for The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Hatfield, John Hammond and for Pure Prairie League’s Goshorn Brothers, and has appeared in numerous television commercials.
During stay-at-home conditions nowadays, he’s been busy working up a new singer-songwriter set. As venues start to re-open, hopefully Mr. Allen will find some stages to perform in his new hometown.
Asked if he could make do singing with a mask until then, he quipped, “About as awkward as going into to the bank with one.”