We reviewed The Danberrys’ third album “Shine” in April this year and Allan was pretty keen on the album. The band’s name comes from a contraction Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry and they’re based in Nashville. Here’s a piece of trivia for you – the person playing guitar, trombone and tuba on “Shine” is Neal Pawley (originally a native of Sheffield)  from one of Allan’s favourite bands, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (and Johnny’s Americana outfit, The Poor Fools). Here’s the Danberrys’ positive takeaways from the year of the COVID:


The Wood Brothers – Ryman Auditorium 2/14/20

Little did we know, this would be the last live concert we would attend in the year 2020. It was Valentine’s Day and we received a last minute invitation to join a wonderful couple for the concert. Our friends Stoney and Susan, who own the amazing Purple Onion restaurant/music venue in Saluda, NC, called us & said they had two free tickets to a concert we had wanted to attend but had procrastinated too long in buying tickets before they were sold out. Hooray! We usually don’t do much on Valentine’s Day because the restaurants are always obnoxiously packed & we’re never too keen to participate in overly-commercialized holidays, so this was quite possibly the best Valentine’s Day in the books. The Wood Brothers ALWAYS bring it but with this being the tour closer at the Ryman in their hometown, it was an extra special performance. 

The 8 O’Clock Howl

At some point early on in the pandemic, some East Nashvillians decided that we should join in on the 8 o’clock howl that was also happening in other cities. For the entire summer if you happened to be outside at 8pm you could hear thousands of people howling. It was reminiscent of the uniquely Nashville custom in which entire bars break out into song together, and it brought a sense of community and quirky artistic ridiculousness back to the hard-hit neighborhood. Howling with a bunch of strangers is predictably cathartic.

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Live Streams (duh)

On the night of March 2, a deadly tornado came through middle Tennessee. The famous Five Points area as well as other areas in East Nashville were heavily affected. Less than two weeks later, live music event cancellations began following the COVID 19 lockdowns. Things in our neighborhood changed very quickly. The transition to virtually no social interaction and no gigs was just plain scary. And weird.

Thankfully, the music world quickly adapted and did the best we could with what was available. Soon we were watching others perform online, and not long after we began playing our own livestream shows. We had never done livestreams before, so there was a definite learning curve along with lots of awkwardness at first. But it was totally worth it. It’s undeniably cool to be able to play for people all over the world at the same time. The interaction and comments from fans and friends to the simple task of wrapping wires at the end of the show brought back a much needed sense of normalcy and connection. There has also been a silver lining in our personal music consumption – artists we’ve never seen live and thought we maybe never would are now easily accessible. We’ve been getting glimpses of rehearsals and other behind-the-scenes-type content from artists we love. It’s been so inspiring to watch the creatives being creative with the limitations of lockdown. We hope the livestreams are here to stay.

Gilmore Girls

This show saved our sanity. Mostly because it’s not serious at all, and we had a full 7 seasons of 20+ episodes plus the 2016 four episode re-boot to watch. It started off as a fun and light-hearted way to pass an hour or so in the evenings and turned into a quest. We had to finish the whole thing before quarantine ended. This was our all-important task. Stars Hollow was a magical reprieve from the reality of the pandemic. The story lines never gave us anxiety or nightmares, only joy and laughter. Thank you Lorelai. Thank you Rory. And most of all, thank you Kirk.


Our daughter, Ollie Grace, was 10-months-old when COVID 19 hit the U.S. She had just taken her first steps when the world went into lockdown. She graduated from infant to toddler in May of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Ollie is definitely not a chill baby. She’s smart & active & demands a ton of attention and constant entertainment. Raising such a tiny human is challenging in any environment, but the pandemic took away the life-blood of any parent’s toolkit: playdates & social activities. We had to be creative. We bought a tow-behind baby carriage for the bikes. We went on long hikes in and around the parks and lakes of Nashville. We bought a plethora of plastic backyard water toys. Focusing on her – watching her grow into a walking, running, talking personality of a person over these months – has been the joy of our lives. We comment to each other constantly that she is the reason we haven’t gone crazy with boredom and anxiety during the pandemic. And the pandemic also afforded us the opportunity to be with her almost every single moment of her first months of life. More silver linings.