The Journey That Led to Adam Ezra Group’s “Switching to Whiskey”

When the world shut down due to COVID-19 and forced independent music venues to close their doors, many musicians were confused and unsure what lockdowns meant for their career. But the Adam Ezra Group, featuring vocals by Adam Ezra, fiddle by Corinna Smith, drums by Alex Martin, and bass by Poche Ponce, saw a golden opportunity. 

Once the band’s 2020 tour got canceled, Adam Ezra and company started performing livestream concerts every night at 7PM Eastern, inviting fans to join them on their Facebook page each evening to take their minds off everything going on in the world. What started as a fun distraction, now called the Gathering Series, is still going strong today – over 400 nights, 3.3k songs, 25,000 minutes, and nearly 15 million views later – and it has followed Adam Ezra through events like battling with COVID-19 and even his wedding day. 

During the Gathering Series, viewers fell in love with performances of “Switching to Whiskey,” a melancholy, country-infused track about heartbreak. The group released the song on March 12th to celebrate the one year anniversary of their livestream shows, and they released a music video in late April.

Between desert panoramas, Adam Ezra plays a lonely show in an empty venue, specifically Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California. The video serves as a tribute to small venues that had to close because of the coronavirus, as well as a bittersweet ode to the magic of live shows. 

Ezra explains, “When brainstorming with Jeff [Grace, director], we had to figure out a creative way to shoot a video that felt impactful and in keeping with the spirit of the song, while also not being able to work with my band and anything more than a skeleton crew to keep the shoot as safe as possible. We loved the concept of creating a main character who was so needing to play music again that he actually snuck into an empty bar and played his own concert for a non-existent audience.”

One of Ezra’s own recent audienceless performances was for a feature on COLLECTION:live, the official streaming platform of the prestigious Grammy Museum. He performed pre-loved track “All Right Today” and, of course, “Switching to Whiskey” before sitting down for a conversation with the museum’s artistic director, Scott Goldman. 

If you want to hear more from Adam Ezra Group, stay tuned! The band is currently working on The Album Project, a series of at least 19 singles that will come over the next four years. In the meantime, stream “Switching to Whiskey” and connect with the group on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and their official website.

(c) Michael Sparks Keegan

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