NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country singer Caylee Hammack and her band are facing months without income after the concert industry came to a halt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. So they put down their guitars and started pushing lawnmowers.
Hammack and her band were touring in Europe last month when the virus started to spread in the United States. They cut their tour short and flew back home quickly, but the time they returned back to Nashville, Tennessee, their scheduled gigs to open for country icon Reba McEntire were postponed.
“Everything just fell apart when we got back,” said the Georgia-born singer, who is signed to Capitol Records Nashville and whose debut record is planned for this year. “Not only was I out of work, but all of my crew and my band members were out of work. Yeah, we have two months of no pay and no income.”
Her bandleader and guitarist, Lance Herring, and her tour manager, Brayden Griffith, thought they could make up some lost income by mowing lawns, which kept them away from direct contact with others. They named their business Family Tree Lawncare Service after Hammack’s debut radio single, “Family Tree.”
Recently the three met up at a house in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, to mow a lawn.
“Being a touring musician is for the most part gig to gig,” said Herring. “And when you have a lot of stuff lined up on the calendar it’s great. And you kind of plan for that, whether it’s financially or travel schedules.”
Herring said they started by asking people online to help them by lending them lawnmowers and other equipment.
“And we real quick had three or four lawnmowers — only one of them worked — that were lent to us,” said Herring. “And then it just snowballed from there. It was kind of overwhelming how many people reached out.”
They hope to raise enough money to donate some to other musicians who are also out of work because of the virus. Herring said he’s hoping to keep the business running even after they return to touring and maybe hire other out of work people.
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