- Associated Press
Monday, March 30, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A lonely musician in North Carolina has a YouTube hit on his hands, after sharing a “quarantine love song” with Americans stuck at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Banjo picker Andy Eversole of Greensboro posted “Quarantined With You” last week in response to being kept apart from his girlfriend, and it has gotten more than 47,000 views.

In the video, Eversole dons a protective mask at times while singing “those old virus blues” have consumed us, clearing stores of toilet paper, closing schools and canceling shows.

“There’s just one thing now that I know is true: If I’m going to be quarantined, I wanna be with you,” he sings.

At least a dozen other people have posted quarantine music videos on YouTube, but most are parodies, including someone who changed Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” into “Quarantine” and a guy who transformed Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” into “Sweet Quarantine.”

Eversole, 40, told McClatchy News his song was inspired by the fact his girlfriend in Brazil was forced to cancel a visit to North Carolina due to the outbreak’s impact on international travel.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and had this song in my head, so I got up and started working it out on the banjo. I then recorded it the next day,” Eversole said in an email, noting the video was filmed the following day in Greensboro.

“My goal with the song is to bring some love, light, and little bit of levity to this dark situation. …I really just hope it helps people to get through this tough time in some way.”

The response has been exactly what he hoped, with lonely commenters noting they shared his video with a partner in another city or even another country. “I sent this to my girlfriend … in St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m planning to visit soon but it’s looking dicey at this time,” Ian McMath wrote.

Eversole is acutely aware of the pandemic’s international impact, due to his job.

He says he’s an international “banjo ambassador” with Banjo Earth, a 5-year-old music and video project that sees him traveling the world “in search of the folk music of past, present, and future, creating cross-cultural music collaborations.”

Among the countries involved in the project is China, where the virus reportedly first began spreading earlier this year.

All his shows have been canceled through April due to the outbreak, he told McClatchy News.

“I’m back home in North Carolina now. Basically self isolating for a couple of weeks,” Eversole said in an email.

“I think the song is resonating because it reminds us of the human element in all of this. In the midst of all the masks, hand-washing, and social distancing, there’s still this human urge to connect with and love each other.”

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