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Singer-songwriter Michael DelGuidice is regularly seen performing in Billy Joel’s band on stage at Madison Square Garden or fronting his Joel tribute band Big Shot at Mulcahy’s in Wantagh and the Paramount in Huntington. Since the coronavirus pandemic closed New York music venues, he’s been broadcasting live on Facebook from his home in Sound Beach.
“Live from the Porch” is a Facebook Live show where DelGuidice, 49, plays solo on acoustic guitar and piano taking requests from fans who message him in-the-moment.
“The concept is for me to enjoy the simplicity of why I started to play music in the first place,” he says. “It’s a fun way to be myself and connect with people.”
His gigs have been canceled for the next two months, however, DelGuidice is planning on performing virtually on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. dubbed “The Corona Concert Series.” His last episode had more than 38,000 views.
“I’ll tackle anything people request,” he says. “It’s unscripted and unrehearsed. The show is totally live, no autotune allowed.”
The material varies from Billy Joel, Elton John, Journey, Led Zeppelin and Chicago covers to his own originals like “Mona Lisa,” “Souvenir,” “Heroes” and “Ordinary Guy” — the theme song to Kevin James’ sitcom, “Kevin Can Wait.”
“What I have done is create a forum to play my originals and get the audience used to them,” says DelGuidice. “It lets people know that I’m not one-dimensional, just copying other artists. I spoon feed them little bits at a time of my songs and now they request them.”
His hardware is rather simple. He mics his piano, has a microphone in front of his mouth and plugs his mixing board into his cellphone, which sits in a stand to his left.
“There are no fancy camera angles,” he says. “But I always make sure the sound mix is good.”
Typically he draws 250 viewers, but that number spiked to 450 last Saturday with the corona quarantine, he says. People type messages to him and send emojis. One dedicated fan even has takeout Italian food delivered to his house for him and his family at the start of each episode, which typically lasts 150 minutes.
“It has organically started to grow,” says DelGuidice. “I’m always encouraging people to share each episode.”
DelGuidice even does an adult-humor after show where he tells funny stories 15 minutes after his concert.
“It shows a different side to me. All my inner thoughts come out,” he says. “People enjoy that raw type of humor. I don’t hold back, I just let it go.”
Despite losing lucrative income from his regular gigs, DelGuidice feels there might be a silver lining to the coronavirus quarantine.
“It’s definitely one of those situations where I simply have to get creative for the next two months,” he says. “As bad as it will cripple me financially, it might awaken me creatively.”
To see DelGuidice perform, visit: www.facebook.com/billyjoeltribute.