Ray Flanagan and Brent Kirby Address the COVID-19 Shutdown on Their New EP

Last month, local musicians Ray Flanagan and Brent Kirby remotely collaborated on two new songs for an Applause Performance segment. Today, they’ve released Down Time, the EP that includes the tracks.

Flanagan wrote "Lay Down" about the realization of gigs lost due to the shutdown and the importance of social distancing.

“I was lying in bed and bird flew into my window,” says Flanagan in a press release. “It sang the chorus to me and the rest is history. There is a balance to relaxing and not moving so fast all the time, and dually taking current events seriously.”

Kirby wrote “With This Time” after a meeting with Applause Performance producer Dave DeOreo.

“I went away from that meeting and starting writing, wrestling with a bunch of ideas and went to bed frustrated,” says Kirby. “I woke up the next morning, and the song just poured out like my morning coffee. I think it accurately represents how I feel about where we are right now — being at home with my family, playing music, working in my garden.”

The two songwriters discussed releasing the songs independently, but both felt like they were connected and should be together, resulting in the collaborative EP. The songs were mixed and mastered by David Alan Shaw at Somewhere Recording.

“The song and recording that I send Ray cannot be changed; I cannot control what he adds and vice versa,” Kirby says. “Over the years of playing music, we have developed a trust and this process is the result of that.”

Down Time is available on all digital platforms (Spotify, Apple, Amazon, etc.).

You can see their Applause Performance appearance at ideastream.org/news/applause-performances-brent-kirby-and-ray-flanagan.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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