Macon Artist: The Blane Dunnam Band adapts to performing during a pandemic
October 1, 2020
The sun was sliced off from view as the Blane Dunnam Band found themselves up against the brick wall of Fall Line Brewing Co. on Sept. 11.
Fall Line had begun to build a beer garden for outdoor customers, and the limited seating along with the open space proved to be the perfect setting for a four-piece band to play for an open crowd.
The crowd rolled in slowly as the band got going. Their gritty sound began reverberating against the wall and echoing through the streets of Macon.
People danced to the slow tunes and cheered to the harder-hitting tracks as the band worked their way through their 25-song setlist.
The show lasted long into the night despite the coming storm, and the crowd was left wanting more after each of the two intermissions.
Blane Dunnam is a singer-songwriter living in Macon, Ga., with his wife, Mercy Dunnam, his son, Nehemiah, and his daughter, River.
“I grew up in a musical family. We just always sang together in church or whatever else,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam attributed his start in music to his own ability to learn, as he began playing guitar at around age 12, and time spent in the choir at church. Dunnam and his wife are both practicing Christians. Not only do they frequent church, but they are also heavily involved.
“Right now, I’m the worship leader at my church while also playing shows around town,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam’s music and band
The Blane Dunnam band is a mixture of many different sounds stylized around Dunnam’s musical palette.
“I play a mixture of Americana, folk, with maybe a little bit of country,” Dunnham said.
Even with his individual style, Dunnam isn’t simply a solo artist.
“I have two kinds of shows. One is just me with an acoustic guitar, and the other is me and my band,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam’s show on Sept. 11 was one where he played with bandmates: drummer Justin Emerson, lead guitarist Ramsey Wynee and bass guitarist Clayton Goodwin.
The band isn’t a cover band per se, but their set list for their concert consisted of many well-known songs such as “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac and “Come Together” by Gary Clark Jr.
They also played a Blane Dunnam original song called “For You My Love,” which Dunnam wrote for his wife in 2019.
Goodwin even considered “For You My Love” to be one of his favorite songs that they had ready for their setlist.
Dunnam also has one studio album with a 12-song track list that he recorded with his sister, Candice Emerson, back in 2018.
During the band’s performance, Wynee’s guitar solos and his play throughout the show were striking. Dunnam also impressed with his vocal range and the occasional crack in his voice, which added a nice charm to most, if not all, of the songs they performed.
Emerson not only kept the tempo of the setlist brilliantly, but he also made use of the brick backdrop to bolster the sound of his own play.
Goodwin’s bass playing added a certain twang to some songs that would have lacked severely without him while also being strong throughout the performance.
Performing during COVID-19
COVID-19 stood as a challenge to Dunnam, who had previously been playing many live shows.
“It was difficult to play shows at first,” Dunnam said. “I did a lot of shows over livestream or Facebook Live. People hosted some shows for me as well.”
One of the livestream events Dunnam participated in was the 478 Sings United live music tournament. The tournament consisted of artists local to Macon, and Dunnam made it all the way to the final round to take second place.
Despite COVID-19 forcing Dunnam to go virtual, he explained that it wasn’t the worst thing for him.
“The block of time where I couldn’t play shows actually worked out for me thanks to the birth of my daughter River. I was able to be with my family during that time,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam said that, despite COVID-19, he dreams of continuing his music career by playing live shows and hopes to keep going for a long time.