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Live music returns in West Virginia


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – West Virginia has reached another marker in the gradual return to normalcy more than a year into the pandemic.

This week, Governor Jim Justice announced live music is once again allowed.

The Empty Glass Bar in Charleston has featured singers and musicians for close to 40 years.

After a year of no performances because of the pandemic, the bar is celebrating live music’s long awaited return.

The Timmy Courts Jazz Ensemble took the stage Friday night.

Bartender Heather Schultz says such a long stretch with no shows makes them appreciate music’s healing effect that much more.

“It’s like having your family back,” she said. “It kind of takes the heart out of the community to an extent. It’s how people express themselves.”

Rebecca McDonald took in the live music with her sons.

“You feel it in your heart,” McDonald said. “You feel the beat in your body. It’s one of those things you don’t realize how upsetting it was not to have until you have it again. Then you realize how much you missed it.”

Restrictions are in place. Plexiglass barriers are set up around the stage, and customers are supposed to be remain seated and masked.

WSAZ also reached out to Black Sheep in Huntington. An employee there said they don’t have any plans for live music this weekend, but they’re excited to finally be able to book acts once again after the long hiatus.

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