North Bay musician Cory Marks is doing his part to help entertain people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country star has begun to host live concerts on his Facebook and Instagram page.
“I got the idea to do the live shows considering the #Redneck tour I was on with Gord Bamford got postponed due to the coronavirus, I figured what better way to connect with my fans, my friends and my family then doing a live show,” he explained.
“We got together and made a plan of doing it every Wednesday and every Friday,” Marks continued. “It’s been great, the reaction worldwide has been phenomenal.”
For touring musicians, aside from the tickets bought for the show, merchandise is the other main way fans can support their favourite artist. In the case of Marks, he says he has a lot of merch that he isn’t able to sell because of the tour postponement.
“It’s been great to be able to connect with fans personally and writing personal messages along with sending out merch that they can order,” Marks said. “We’re doing the best we can to deal with these circumstances.”
For the Facebook and Instagram Live concerts, Marks says his setlists can be a mixed bag of tricks, which is the way he likes it.
“When I get requests for songs I don’t know, I take it upon myself to learn, even 30 seconds of it,” he explained. “I typically go in there with a setlist. I am playing Better Off, Blame It On The Double, Outlaws and Outsiders, and I am giving a snippet of my new single coming out on April 17thcalled Devil’s Grin. I also play my favourites Some covers, a lot of Merle Haggard, mixing in with rock, like Shine by Collective Soul, Simple Man.”
“With the passing of Kenny Rogers, I did my best to perform the Gambler for all the Kenny Rogers fans,” Marks added. “If someone requests something that’s not on my setlist, I will try my best to perform it for them. It’s about being one on one with the fans and having fun with it and playing the hits.”
However, for Marks, the outbreak of the virus might seem like it has come at a bad time, not that there is ever really a good time. Outlaws and Outsiders, his song featuring Travis Tritt, Ivan Moody and Mick Mars, came out in early November and has catapulted the North Bay resident to new heights. But as mentioned, his #Rednecks tour with Gord Bamford has been postponed, but for Marks, it’s about rolling with the punches.
“Like Merle Haggard once said, ‘going with the flow,’” he said. “That’s all I’m doing. I’m not the only one going through this, everyone is. Whether you’re an athlete, singer, songwriter, whatever it is, we’re all going through this together most importantly.”
“You have to take advantage of certain things,” he continued. “These social media home concerts, and finding different ways to connect with your fans and different people.”
Not to say, however, that Marks isn’t doing what he can to keep the wave going. Outlaws and Outsiders currently sits in the top 30 on the Rock charts in the United States, and just out of the top 40 in Canada. This summer, the country-rock hybrid is looking to hit the road with Breaking Benjamin, Bush, Theory of a Deadman, and Saint Asonia.
“There are 34 dates there, and we have some dates with Alice Cooper as well, so hopefully this clears up and we can get back on the road,” Marks said. “Hopefully I will be able to get to go back out with the #Rednecks tour in the fall, but that’s a little way away and we’re still planning it.”
With the drop date for Devil’s Grin in mid-April, Marks says an album isn’t too far off either.
“We are set to release an album this summer and I am really excited for the world to hear this record,” Marks stated.
You can catch Cory live on Instagram and Facebook Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. and Fridays at 5:00 p.m.