In times of uncertainty, it is not uncommon for people to seek a source of comfort.

For local musician Catrina Campbell, this source of comfort often comes through in the form of music.

To say that music has always been a part of Campbell's life is probably an understatement—she was quite literally surrounded by it.

“The whole time I was growing up, my mom sang all the time around the house,” said Campbell.

Campbell's mother, grandma and aunt had a trio and would sing three-part harmony, mostly in churches. However, Campbell never performed until the summer before her senior year of college. She auditioned for a part in a play that happened to be a singing role.

That following summer, she was in a traveling singing group that paid her tuition. Campbell said after college she didn't really do much with music until she found herself directing a variety show in Metamora.

“Along with that came starting a little band called The Baggy Bottom Boys and it just went from there,” said Campbell.

Campbell said she had a great friend who encouraged her musical journey. That friend became her husband, and at his encouragement, she picked up learning a few more instruments and went from playing music as a hobby to performing professionally.

“We have felt so blessed to be able to make our living doing something we love so much,” said Campbell.

Campbell still plays locally with a bluegrass band called Clearfolk, and duo Sissy and Me. However, she typically makes a living with Chuck Brisbin Music, gigging two to four times a week in the greater Cincinnati area.

Since the onset of COVID-19, many musicians are feeling the strain as performance venues have been temporarily closed to the public. Campbell said on March 15, while playing a gig in Cincinnati, they were informed that by close of business that night, all bars and restaurants were closing in Ohio until further notice. Indiana and Kentucky soon followed suit.

“By the middle of the week, we were completely out of work for the foreseeable future,” said Campbell.

The band currently can't get together to practice either, but are staying in contact via messaging and telephones.

“We're trying to focus on collaborative songwriting, and expanding our repertoire and rehearsing individually at home,” said Campbell.

Aside from just performing to make a living, Campbell said it also helps with mental health, which is why she took to Facebook Live to host her performances. She began performing songs that spoke to her or songs she felt might encourage others.

“Our country is hurting right now, and music is medicine,” said Campbell.

As Campbell began posting her videos on Facebook, she was invited to a Facebook group which allows out-of-work musicians to posts songs along with a virtual PayPal or Venmo tip jar. That Facebook group went viral within a week and in just two weeks it has garnered 45,000 followers. That group has allowed others to spawn as virtual busking options for musicians during this tough time.

“Music was pretty much our entire income, and this virtual busking option has kept food on the table this month,” said Campbell. “We have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and encouragement.”

As far as how this pandemic will affect Metamora, being such a tourism-heavy town, Campbell said she is uncertain.

“Our little town has seen a lot of hard times in recent years, and so the merchants here continue to try to put our heads together and come up with new ideas,” said Campbell. “Lots of prayers are needed.”

Campbell said she would encourage everyone to get on social media and support local musicians who are utilizing the virtual busking option.

“When this is all over, please get out and support your local little towns and businesses who are trying to get back to business,” said Campbell.