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Virtual variety show brings artists, musicians together


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – These are The Carpenter Ants and this is the first time the Charleston band is playing together since the pandemic began. 

Michael Lipton is the band’s guitarist. 

“As a band we’ve been together for almost 35 years and this is the longest time in 35 years that we haven’t played or seen each other,” Lipton said. 

Charlie Tee is the lead vocalist. 

“Had to get kind of loosened up a little bit I guess is the world but once we started playing it was fine, just like old times,” he said. 

The Carpenter Ants got back together in one place for this concert… which was recorded for the “Arts Collaborative of the Mid-Ohio Valley” at WVU Parkersburg

The Arts Collaborative weaves performances like this one with other artists into a show called “HeARTS of the MOV” on Facebook. 

“Several of us got together and we came up with the idea of doing sort of an old-fashioned variety show,” explained Senta Goudy, the Executive Director of Civic Engagement and Innovation at WVU Parkersburg. 

She says no one gets paid and it’s not a fundraiser, but it’s a way to bring artists together and bring joy to anyone at home who wants to watch. 

“We want to do what we love to do and that’s entertain and be in the hearts and minds of our community at this time,” she said. 

“We’ll try anything. Once. And this sounds like an interesting idea,” Lipton said. 

The Carpenter Ants also include Ted Harrison on bass and Jupie Little on drums. 

As much as they enjoyed this experience, they can’t wait to get out and play in front of a live audience. 

“We had a lot of shows booked through May and June and we had an overseas tour planned in July to Slovakia and that was cancelled,” Lipton said. 

“Just being out there and playing and enjoying people and having them enjoy us. That will be the best medicine of all,” said Tee. 

Medicine for the soul which all of us could use during times like these. 

The virtual variety show is called “HeARTS of the MOV” for Mid-Ohio Valley. 

The first of eleven episodes began last week on the Arts Collaborative’s Facebook page.  

The Carpenter Ants will appear at 7 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2020. Click here to watch the show. 

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