In the early days of the pandemic, Deborah Silver, Delray resident and No. 1-charting Billboard Jazz vocalist, came down with COVID. The ordeal would last 40 days, but the virus left her creativity intact: Silver emerged from the other side with a new song, “COVID-19 Blues,” co-written with fellow Palm Beacher and Grammy winner Dennis Lambert, that distills the chaos, anxiety, gratitude and hope of the past 15 months.
More recently, Silver and Lambert enlisted a little help from their friends, debuting a re-recorded “celebrity remix” of the soulful track, viewable below.
The creators’ Rolodex is deep enough to include talents that need no introduction—Tony Orlando, Melissa Manchester, Susan Anton—as well “American Idol” competitor Casey Abrams, Broadway triple threat Melissa Errico, country breakout star and “Voice” finalist Billy Gilman and many more. Off-camera, an impressive stable of jazz and rock musicians perform on the track as well, among them guitarist Ray Parker Jr., horn player Tom Scott and Willie Nelson’s harmonica player, Mickey Raphael.
Though everyone recorded the track from their homes, their contributions were painstakingly edited together to create socially distanced harmony. Contributed videos of health care workers and other essential workers, spliced among video of the singers’ performances, generate additional poignancy.
Lambert and Silver penned the tune as a charity effort to support performing artists whose incomes have suffered during the lockdowns and venue closures. One hundred percent of donations to this project benefit the Jazz Foundation of America and the Actors Fund. If you dig the song, consider a donation to jazzfoundation.org.