For the past couple years, rarely a week would go by in Humboldt when you couldn’t find Claire Bent and her band Citizen Funk at some bar or casino kicking out dance tunes for appreciative feet. But as it’s gone for most of us, Bent’s regularly scheduled life took a turn when COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders went into place.
“We were playing almost every weekend,” Bent told the Outpost. “We had so many weddings we were going to play this year. We were going to play the Fortuna car show. Oh my gosh, so many things and they’ve just all been canceled.”
With no public gigs to rehearse for, Bent admits she’s lately been “lazy” toward her music while quarantining. But earlier this week, a call from a struggling loved one inspired her to muster some energy for a mini-song project.
“My aunt and her husband are going through a rough time,” Bent explained. “He’s had multiple myeloma for many years now and they’ve been battling that together. It’s just been really hard.”
Rushing to the musical rescue, Bent’s laid-back “Pandemic Blues” was conceived, written and filmed all on Tuesday with the aid of her husband, video whiz Matt St. Charles. Alongside some relatable lyrical sentiments chronicling our weird new world, Bent’s song contains a verse dedicated to her distant family in need. In addition to his own ailments, Bent’s aunt’s husband has a brother who is now in hospice care. Due to COVID restrictions, the siblings are unable to see each other in person and instead spend time everyday on the phone.
“So I definitely wanted to put a reference to that in the song because I know a lot of people are going through similar things right now,” Bent said. “[My aunt] jokingly was like, ‘I could call a mental health hotline or I could just talk to my niece and see if you could turn all my woes into a blues tune.’ And I told her, oh absolutely I’ll do that. I don’t think she was necessarily expecting me to turn it around so soon but I just was inspired.”
Spend a few minutes soaking in Claire Bent’s “Pandemic Blues” in the clip above.