SAN ANTONIO – For decades, country music’s Steve Wariner has been playing to sellout crowds across the nation. But in early March, all that changed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, making those crowds a thing of the past.
“Not getting to see the reaction and hearing the reaction from people in the crowds, that’s terribly missed," Wariner told KSAT’s Paul Venema during a Zoom interview from his home outside Nashville, Tennessee.
To fill the void, Wariner has found a way to keep in touch with his fans. It is an interactive Facebook page that he calls “Wariner Wednesday.”
He responds directly to his followers as they text messages that includes everything from questions to song requests. He often adds personal stories about his life on the road as well.
“People like that,” Wariner said. “They like the stories about our times on the road and famous folks we’ve shared the stage with.”
He said that Texans make up a big portion of his fan base and that Floores Country Store in Helotes is one of his favorite Texas stops.
He said that it will likely be one of his first stops when the pandemic ends.
“We always love playing Floores,” he said."The history of that place is unreal."
Though Wariner’s biggest hits came in the 70′s and 80′s with a string of number one songs, he says his live shows are clear evidence that his music is still very relevant.
He said, “You look on the front row and there’s young girls and they’re all singing along.”
When he is not working on writing new music in his Nashville studio, Wariner is busy in another studio, trading a guitar for a paint brush.
He has recently set up an art studio at his home.
“I’ve really hunkered down and I’ve been painting a lot,” he said. “And I’ve been trying some things and studying some artists.”
Whether painting or picking, in spite of the pandemic, Wariner is upbeat.
He said, “If I went away right now, I would go ‘Oh, man it’s just been .. what an incredible journey.’”