Those pining for a live show amid the COVID-19 pandemic might be in luck thanks to longtime musician Doug Traxler.
A 30-year performer from Le Center, Traxler has taken to Facebook Live to share his talents.
What began as a playful post featuring Traxler’s banjo quickly evolved into requests from 10 of his followers to play music remotely not five minutes after the photo went up.
“That night, everybody was ready with their cocktails at 5 o’clock,” Traxler said.
That night, which was about a week ago, around 300 people or more tuned in to watch Traxler play tunes from his library at any given time during the stream.
Now, eight days later, Traxler maintains his streak of performing nightly shows, starting at 5 p.m., which he calls 'Happy Hour with Doug Traxler.'
Tunes from the likes of the Beatles and Jimmy Buffet are staples among his sets, but each night Traxler likes to stick to a theme. One night he might play blue grass; the next he can be heard playing country. No matter the theme, however, Traxler always likes to wrap things up with a patriotic song.
Traxler said that his live streams, which can be found HERE, have given him the chance to perform more regularly than he would have otherwise done, so he has welcomed the task of greeting his Facebook audience on a nightly basis. And even though he can’t physically see his audience, he treats his Facebook livestreams like any regular show.
“I get nervous right before I press the button but once I get going it’s show time,” Traxler said.
WATCH TRAXLER's LATEST STREAM IN THE BOX BELOW:
Traxler, a guitar player at heart, will mix in an occasional banjo tune or two during his streams, depending on the theme that evening. In addition to songs, of which Traxler will play around 5-10, Traxler will mix in talks about the way he strums a guitar to fit the styles of the songwriters whose songs he performs. If he’s playing a Doc Watson song, Traxler will talk about how he finger-picked a certain way to keep with the genre. Traxler will also mix in his originals, which also span several genres.
Traxer began playing country as well as music from the ‘50s and ‘60s. In 1996, he picked up the banjo and began playing bluegrass. Traxler also incorporated Motown and rock songs into his rotation. More recently, however, Traxler has added more guitar back into his sound and returned to country by more measures than one.
“I’m a guitar player at heart. I always have been,” Traxler said. “I’m a country boy.”
With about 800 songs in his catalog, Traxler has a healthy lexicon to choose from. But as a commercial airline pilot, he feels that he’ll return to work sometime soon, so he doesn’t feel like his miniature concerts will go on indefinitely and estimates his streams will last about a week longer. But he’s happy to provide some much-needed levity to his listeners while he can. Playing songs that he doesn’t typically get to play during his live sets has been a welcomed change as well.
“In this time when everyone’s feeling so insecure and having all this anxiety, it’s nice to share music with everybody and share some happy time during this isolation period,” Traxler said.
Traxler, who has played gigs around the state over the years, now stays somewhat reserved in terms of the venues in which he performs. But attendees to the Le Sueur County Fair likely would have seen him play over the last few years. Traxler has released three studio albums, which are available at Dougtraxlermusic.com.