It was way back in 2008 when Alison Zero interviewed prolific Buffalo folk guitarist Dave Ruch on Buffalo Rising (see here). Ruch has played with many of the greats, at the greatest regional venues; the guy is prolific to say the least. His Buffalo ballads, his dedication to his trade, his love for Buffalo… these are all of the things that make Ruch stand out from the crowd.
Now Ruch has embarked upon something relatively new, to adjust according to this era of social distancing. After losing all of his bookings, and realizing that his own livelihood meant that he needed to embark upon alternative performance routes, Ruch decided to take his act online – to his Facebook page. That is where he is hosting concerts, lessons, and is taking requests. His new gig is aptly called Dave Ruch, Live From The House. The new series can be accessed via any computer, phone, tablet, or smart TV.
How did you decide that this was your best move at this point?
I’m kind of uniquely set up to do a daily 30-60 min show because of all the various hats I wear in the course of the year as a full time musician.
What does the program look like?
One day will be songs for kids, another will explore Erie Canal music and other oddities from NYS history, two will be all-request days (stump the band!), and Fridays will be devoted to teaching the basics of guitar and perhaps mandolin for people who have a dusty instrument laying around and time on their hands.
It’s a crazy time for everyone, huh?
Yes, the poor hospitality people who can’t do online shows and put out a virtual tip jar. I dedicated half my earnings from one of the streams last week to a friend who is a chef.
You’ve actually done online shows before? That was ahead of its time, right?
Doing laptop concerts and also online shows for groups of school children (which I do all the time) prepares me pretty well to be able to smile into my laptop camera and sing/play for an audience I cant see.
What’s the takeaway?
What I’m learning from this is that we are all in need of connection right now.
How has the response been?
I’ve had as many as 150-200 people joining in at a given time on these Facebook livestreams, and the comments are so great to see. When I read people’s words back to them, or they make me laugh, it really is the next best thing to being together.
You take requests on some days?
I love to try to honor requests when I can. The request days have been running the gamut and I’m playing electric rock and roll as much as anything else. Try me!
And people will donate, if they like what they hear?
People have been very generous. It’s Buffalo after all.
Ok, what’s the weekly line-up?
- TUESDAY (tomorrow) NOON – NYS History Through Music
- WEDNESDAY NOON – Songs for Kids!
- THURSDAY NOON – All Request Hour
- FRIDAY NOON – Learn to Play (Guitar this week, theme will change)
- MONDAY NOON – All Request Hour
What’s your biggest hope? What do you want to get out out of this?
It is my hope that these online programs will help us all feel a bit more connected during these socially isolated times, and maybe… just maybe… help to partially offset the devastating loss of income I’ve experienced due to the tsunami of cancelled performances.
How does it work? How can people connect?
Just point your browser to my personal Facebook page at noon on the day of your choice and there I’ll be, performing live for you while you lounge in your PJs eating lunch!
If you are in a place to support these broadcasts financially at all, your donations will be gratefully received at either of the following links:
Venmo: @Dave-Ruch-2 (if asked for Ruch’s last four digits, use 2001)