As residents cope with lockdowns across the state, one Twin Cities man knew just the thing that would cheer up his neighbors: an unsolicited performance of his debut album at 3:00 AM on a Tuesday.
“In these dark times it is really important that we find ways to connect” said Austin Gregory, a 27-year old self-described ‘indie singer-songwriter’
“I was so inspired by a video of people in Italy singing to each other on their balconies, and that’s why I took it upon myself to play my album, Feathersongs in its entirety at maximum volume to my block” he said.
Gregory describes his album as a “rumination on my time with a girl named Allison”, and features songs with titles such as ‘Allison I’, ‘Allison II’, ‘Allison III’ and ‘For Allison’. All of which, he belted out into a microphone, amplified by two large speaker systems placed in the center of the street hours before sunrise.
“My influences include: Jason Mraz, Chaka Khan, V-necks, bonfires, the parts of Stevie Wonder I can remember, the Cars for Kids jingle, and of course Coldplay” said Gregory without being asked.
Shortly after Gregory started belting out lyrics to his single, “All I See is Allison”, residents from around his Sheridan neighborhood came out in droves to see the show.
“I’m an ICU nurse and I just finished a 14 hour shift” said Davon Green, who lives down the street, “I need to sleep, and I can’t do that if I’m being serenaded by some jackass who sounds like if Bob Dylan and Kemit the Frog had a baby in hell.”
Gregory responded to threats to call the police with “I love you too, my man!”
“This impromptu and surprising concert is my way of helping us overcome COVID”, he continued, “That’s the healing power of music.”
Towards the end of his 92 minute set, Gregory put his hand up to his ear and shouted “Did I hear someone say ‘Freebird’”?!
“No!” shouted the neighbors in near unison.
“This one goes out to the healthcare workers!” he said, before diving into a cacophonous, extended guitar solo.