From somewhere out in the desert, Adam Ezra reflects on the last year with gratitude. Since March 13, 2020, Adam Ezra Group—a Boston-based folk group—performed a Livestream every evening, becoming The Gathering Series. To commemorate their 365th consecutive show, Ezra and his bandmates, Corinna Smith (fiddle), Alex Martin (drums), Poche Ponce (bass), share a fitting new single, “Switching To Whiskey.”
“We’ve always been a band whose art tends to be influenced by our fan community, what they’re reacting to or what’s inspiring them,” says Ezra. “‘Switching To Whiskey’ is unique. It’s the first song I co-wrote with my friend, Clint Daniels. We began sharing it a year prior to Covid, and it immediately became one of our most requested. I wanted to show appreciation to our fans in some special way, and we decided this would be appropriate because the community has embraced it so strongly.”
January’s “All Right Today” kicked off Adam Ezra Group’s forthcoming string of releases. “Switching To Whiskey” marks the second of 19 singles they will share over the next two years—part of what they are calling “The Album Project.” The bittersweet track is intimate and organic, fueled by stripped-down acoustic instrumentation and the raw vocals that cut straight to the heart of things, fitting with the communal idea of seeking escape through times of chaos.
“We’ve been through something so awful that we aren’t able to process,” he says. “Connection is at the very core of why I am a live performer.”
Pre-pandemic, Adam Ezra Group played over 200 shows a year. He is not one for a setlist. Instead, he channels creativity for every performance. To his surprise, he feels a version of that same connective energy through his screen every evening. To maintain both energy and sanity, the band does not approach these shows as they would a regular performance.
“That would be overwhelming; I couldn’t imagine,” he says. “I try not to think about the screen as the stage, but give an hour of myself being present. Sometimes I’m exhausted, sometimes I’m sad or scared, and if that’s how I’m feeling, then that’s what I’m sharing. During this time, when it feels like the world has stopped turning, we are all experiencing a deep level of isolation and fear. The Gathering Series is a place where we can find a consistent connection.”
In the future, Ezra says there will continue to be a live component to who he is as an artist. The Gathering Series evolved into an extension of Adam Ezra Group’s approach to performing live. Whether in-person or virtually, the goal is never to spend a night on stage in their comfort zone.
“The audience is experiencing us challenging ourselves,” he says. “Like The Gathering Series, sometimes it is embarrassing, but there are also joyous, unexpected creative moments. I can’t wait to get back on the road to play on stage, but I hope to always carry this experience with me.”
Listen exclusively to Adam Ezra Group’s new single, “Switching To Whiskey,” below. Tune in to their 365th night of The Gathering Series at 7 p.m. EST on March 12.