By Hank McCoy
Parklander Gary Lue and the Shoal Survivors are back with another virtual jam session, this time with an outstanding collaborative performance of The Beatles All You Need Is Love.
This group of musicians has been gathering at the Star Island retreat in the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, to jam together for years now and get their musical fill through virtual jam sessions during COVID-19.
The group initially went viral with their cover With A Little Help From My Friends in April, where they helped spark a trend for bands and jam session buddies during the quarantine.
In June, the Shoal Survivors had their viral performance played as part of the virtual gala for The Public Citizen’s Benefit for COVID-19 Relief, which featured celebrities like Ray Romano and Sarah Silverman, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Pramila Jayapal.
Lue and his wife Kelly are Parkland residents who moved from New York six years ago for the low crime rates, beautiful homes, and open spaces that reminded them of their backyard.
Lue’s been playing drums since fourth grade, and before that, he banged on pots and pans, feeling the rhythm at a young age.
He’s currently a digital media consultant at CreatorUp and explained that with all the turmoil and anxiety of what’s going on in the world today, the group felt that The Beatles All You Need Is Love would be the perfect song for this moment.
Because of his work background, Lue has been the one in the collective that handles the video production for the group’s performances. This go-around, he wanted to use the style and aesthetic of the film Yellow Submarine to compliment the video.
The video is full of floating hearts that change colors and cartoon word bubbles to add to the quirky and psychedelic nature The Beatles were known for. It was Lue’s way of giving viewers more than just a bunch of artists seemingly on a Zoom Video with each in their separate boxes.
“You know once we started doing this, everyone had their suggestions, and I think it’s just a matter of figuring out what the appropriate songs are,” said Lue. “We have a backlog of requests because it’s a great group of musicians.”
All You Need Is Love is the group’s third song they’ve recorded in this virtual landscape, however, one of the songs they did was more of a personal recording for the band because they weren’t able to meet up for their yearly sessions in New Hampshire. Although they didn’t promote the song as they have for this new track and their first one, it’s another excellent example of their talents, particularly the group’s vocalists.
Not everything the group of musicians does is about a message. Sometimes it’s just about a funky groove; however, with all that has been going on in society, it’s essential for them to take these issues that the country is grappling with into consideration.
“In the videos, we have, all races, all ages, but even all political views, so there are many considerations. We want to be sensitive to the people within the group and the people who are listening as well,” said Lue.
Regardless of whether the All You Need Is Love cover goes viral or not, listeners can expect more feel-good inspiration from the Shoal Survivors as they work through the music they’ve been recording.
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- Hank McCoy is a writer and journalist covering music, politics, and culture on his blog Hank's Luncheonette, as well as currently working on publishing his first novel. Hank grew up in Parkland and graduated from FAU before moving to Chicago where he worked in the music industry as an artist and talent booker when he wasn't throwing people out of punk bars. Hank recently moved back to South Florida after living overseas in Berlin while he traveled to Europe and worked on a new fantasy series. Hank digs music, comic books, history, and politics.
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