RICHMOND, Va. -- Working from home is nothing new to Devonne Harris. He immerses himself in music every day.
“Sometimes it is surreal because I get to do what I love for a living,” Devonne said. “For me, inspiration can strike at 2 a.m. or 7 a.m.”
The record producer, known as D.J. Harrison, is overcoming quarantine one beat at a time.
“Oh (I'm) very lucky. Sometimes too lucky," the Petersburg native and Jellowstone Records founder said. “The music scene is a tight-knit community.”
Jellowstone is an outlet for talented artists across Virginia, including his own band Butcher Brown. The group has released several albums and toured the nation.
“Everyone on stage feeds off of each other. Everyone brings something to the table," Devonne said.
The magic really happens, he said, when the band jams in-person.
“When something sticks and something hits there is energy in the room and everyone looks around no one has to say anything but everyone is like ‘Yeah,’” Devonne said.
These days, the five musicians are keeping their distance. But it has hardly stopped Butcher Brown from releasing new music on social media every week.
“It’s been going pretty well so far," Devonne said.
During the pandemic, members like bass player Andy Randazzo record chosen songs at home. Devonne melds the melodies and blends the beats.
“I put the keyboards on there. Then I put the guitars on there. Then the horns will come up," Devonne said.
The final creation? Mothership Mondays.
“Ten years ago this would have been harder. Twenty years ago this would have been impossible," Andy said.
“It has been cool to watch it unfold as time goes on with the pandemic and everything,” Devonne added.
Andy lends his video editing talents to the mix.
“It wasn’t new. But now it is very familiar," he said.
The musicians say the weekly solo sessions sharpen skills and keep tracks tight.
“At this point, we’ve come too far to turn back now," Devonne said.
The pandemic makes them appreciate jamming together.
“I can’t even imagine what the first rehearsal is going to be like. We’re going to be so excited just to be back in the same room with everyone you know? I am definitely looking forward to that,” Devonne said.
“Everyone is going to love getting back to the way things we are used to," Andy added.
Until that moment, members of Butcher Brown will play together thanks to technology and the vision of a producer who is finding his groove right at home.
“It’s a great challenge," Devonne said. "I’m happy to accept it."
Butcher Brown's new album should be released later this year. The group's Mothership Mondays song is released every Monday at 11 a.m.
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