In the intro to The Cadillac Three’s latest video, “Long After Last Call,” a simple message is scrawled across a black background, reading, “This is dedicated to all the empty venues and all who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The video then focuses solely on The Cadillac Three member Jaren Johnston, who sits on a stool alone inside Sturgis, South Dakota’s Iron Horse Saloon, performing the song to an empty room. The video has a makeshift, incomplete feel to it, because that’s exactly what happened during the making of the clip. Though original plans called for Johnston’s bandmates Kelby Ray and Neil Mason to also take part in the video, those plans were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group is doing their part to help independent music venues that have been forced to close their doors for over a year due to the ongoing health crisis.
For most artists, these small clubs are where they craft their signature sounds, play their earliest shows, learn how to create music that will draw in audiences and begin to build a loyal fanbase. The forced closures and resulting loss of revenues are devastating not only thousands of indie music venues across the nation, but also the touring infrastructure that is essential for new and mid-level artists of all genres.
The trio has teamed with the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the #SaveOurStages initiative for the video to help bring awareness to the problem.
“Long After Last Call” is included on The Cadillac Three’s Country Fuzz album, which released in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic shutdowns. In October 2020, they followed that project with the even grittier Tabasco and Sweet Tea.