A friend of mine, Dug North, shared the video with me of a rock/funk/cover band, The Main Squeeze, doing a tear-the-roof-off-the-dump rendition of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
I found this video restorative for a number of reasons and it reminded of the uncountable number of local bands, cover bands, wedding bands, and coffee house singer-songwriters whose talents go largely unknown beyond the confines of their town, city, or state (or, if they get lucky, a loyal YouTube following).
The "If you build it, they will come" myth lives large in the music world. For many musicians who dream beyond the borders of their town, that wider recognition, regardless of talent level, never comes. Great local musicians have to get by on a few gigs a week, for a couple of Benjamins, or if they can grin and bear it, a wedding band gig for a few bones more. "I Will Survive," anyone? But these bands put their all into it, they take what they do seriously, and they find joy and fulfillment in their job (even when the audience is yelling over them and no one is clapping or paying attention).
So, here's a moment of thanks and praise to all of the amazing and underappreciated musicians, right around the corner at your local bar (at least they used to be there and hopefully will be again soon).
Oh, and that tip jar on the stage? The band probably pre-loaded that with a few small bills of their own to seed the pot, so stuff it with a few honest bills of your own — especially if they play their asses off like these guys and look like they're having this much fun. (During our plague year, this support translates to the online buskery of sites like Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee and supporting their work on Bandcamp.)
Bonus track: Here is Canadian singer-guitarist, Ariel Posen, performing in a cover band bar, Fat Lil's, in Witney, UK. As one YouTuber commented: Imagine walking into a bar to grab a drink and walking in on this.