Silky O’Sullivan’s Hosts Weekly Virtual Happy Hour 

Tune into Silky's Facebook every Tuesday at 5 p.m. to join.

click to enlarge Craig Schuster
  • Craig Schuster
On April 14th, Silky O’Sullivan’s hosted its first virtual Happy Hour, featuring a live performance by pianist, trumpeter, and singer Craig Schuster playing songs from his latest album Goodnight Jr., as well as taking requests from the audience.

“He’s been with us for more than 15 years as one of our Dueling Piano players,” says owner Joellyn Sullivan. “We were very pleased, and we look forward to the next one.”

Buddy Nemenz from Almost Famous played this week, and this upcoming Tuesday, Danny Childress, another one of the venue’s regular pianists, will perform. “Danny has been with us for over 20 years,” says Sullivan. “He's almost one of our original piano players, really, since we opened up in 1992.”

click to enlarge Buddy Nemenz
  • Buddy Nemenz

During Tuesday performances, viewers are invited to a toast as the artist shares Silky O’Sullivan’s drink recipe of the day. The first week’s drink recipe was for Green Tea, which contains 1 oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey, 1/4 Peach Schnapps, and equal parts sour and Sprite.

“We figured we’d share a recipe somebody might not be that familiar with,” says Sullivan. “It's just another social opportunity to get in contact and to help with isolation and the loneliness of not getting to come in and share time and experiences with others.”

In the videos, the performing artists also talk about Silky O’Sullivan’s Silky's 2020 Season Pass, which will cover unlimited door charges for any event from whenever the venue is able to open back up until New Year’s Eve. Plus, purchase of the season pass enters new members into a giveaway for a Diver bucket full of cool Memphis-themed swag. Ultimately, however, proceeds from these passes benefit the musicians who have lost gigs at Silky’s due to COVID-19.

“Memphis has so many talented artists, and we have been so blessed with the venues to keep them busy,” she says. “Beale Street, as a grand example, is looking at live music day and night, seven days a week, at least 363 days of the year, if not 365.”

She says that’s a lot of time musicians aren’t getting paid for, especially considering that many of them play several other venues as well.

“There are not nearly as many resources out there [for them],” she says. “They're independent contractors. They’re basically individually small business people. And these resources that are available to the rest of us are largely not available to them. They can't apply for unemployment.”

click to enlarge Danny Childress
  • Danny Childress
Likewise, the people who frequent Beale Street and other live music joints in Memphis can benefit from this, too. “Music is for the soul,” she says. “And Memphis is all about soul. So, at our core, wherever there is music, there's community. There's sharing, there’s bonding, there is support and love and friendship that is just shared among people. And whether you're on Beale Street, whether you're in a church, whether you’re at a concert, that community that music makes happen, reaches down into the soul and connects us and warms us. And we, as people, need that.”

To view weekly Virtual Happy Hours, stay tuned on Silky’s Facebook page every Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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