Ryan Gould has worked as a string bass player in Austin since 1999, playing early jazz music in bands that include the Texas Moaners and the Rock Step Relevators. He and his wife Lauryn, a horn player, live in Southeast Austin, and performed around the city most nights of the week before the pandemic. We reached out to Gould after a devastating winter storm in Texas overwhelmed the state’s energy grid and left millions without power and water. He told us how Texas musicians are faring in light of the disaster.

My wife and I are both full-time performing musicians. I’m a string bass player and she’s a saxophone player. Most of our gigs are together; we both play Twenties and Thirties early jazz. We’ve just been stuck in the house. We grabbed a friend of ours, who’s a musician herself; she was living in a trailer before the cold hit. Oddly enough, we haven’t played much music together, because I think we’re all at that point where every time you touch your instrument, you’re kind of like on the edge of crying, because it’s been 11 months of not doing the thing that has driven us for twenty-some years.

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