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Skidmore’s Distinguished Artist-In-Residence Pens Plaintive Song About COVID-19 Crisis

Joel Brown, who teaches guitar at the college and has recorded a number of locally celebrated albums, released "Everyone's Gone Home" last week.

A scene from the video for "Everyone's Gone Home" by Skidmore's Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Joel Brown.

It’s difficult for the average person to put into words what it feels like to be on lockdown right now, separated from the ones you love, just trying to get by. I’d like to think that the writing I’ve buried myself in over the past month has been one way of communicating this. But I truly believe that—and I’m a little biased here, because I grew up in a musical family—the purest form of communication during times of struggle is music.

When the pandemic first hit, I sat down and penned my only song about it (it hasn’t seen the light of day yet). And besides my own less-than-appealing song, I haven’t really heard any COVID-inspired numbers since: The amazing musicians out there have been consoling us with their hit songs or most recognizable numbers via live stream daily. That is, save for Joel Brown, Skidmore College’s distinguished artist-in-residence and guitar teacher, whom I’ve known since I was knee-high to a grasshopper (he rocked my Bar Mitzvah after party in a guitar-cello duo with my cello teacher at the time, Ann Alton).

I’d ask that you take a minute this morning, strap on your noise-cancelling headphones and listen to Joel’s pretty but plaintive pandemic-inspired “Saratoga Song of the Spring,” “Everyone’s Gone Home.” The video and post production (and backing vocals) were done by Joel’s son, Jason, who owns Starling Studios in Saratoga.

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Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.

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