South Jersey musician sheds light on health, job struggles amid COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak has forced so many people out of work including one New Jersey musician who has been forced to cancel his shows. 

Ryan “Gooch” Nelson and his fiancé Brianna love playing music inside their New Jersey home. “The other day I was just lying in bed and I started singing.” Ryan told FOX 29's Bill Rohrer. “I was like grab your guitar.”

Ryan and his band “Gooch and the Motion” just released their second album called “Outside the Window", which he says is a mix of several genres.

He started playing guitar at the age of twelve and since then It’s all he wanted to do.  However, when Ryan turned 18 that all stopped after a car accident left him paralyzed and unable to play.

“I just wanted to play guitar the way I used to play.  I just wanted to hold it in my hands and play chords.” Ryan said.

His grandfather introduced him to the slide guitar. It took Ryan sometime to learn, but soon he was playing gigs all over the country.

“It is liberating for sure. I believe god gives everyone a purpose and it seems to be that music is my purpose.” Ryan explained.

So far Ryan had to cancel three performances since the corona virus forced many across the country stay inside their homes.

“I am the one they are talking about when they say people with preexisting conditions are susceptible to this virus.” He added.  “It is scary and we don’t know how long things are going to last.”

Leukemia and chemo medication have weakened Ryan’s immune system and for now putting his live performances on hold. “It is my way I make money, but it’s the way I express myself and the way I get out. It is like therapy for me.”

Despite all this, Ryan and Brianna remain positive by posting videos and music online.

“It is very comforting for people that are sick and hurt and there are a lot of people going through that right now a little music may help lift people up," Ryan said. 


UN: 85% of new infections, deaths coming from Europe and US

Wawa restricting self-serve food, beverage items to combat spread of COVID-19

Income tax filing deadline moved to July 15 from April 15

How COVID-19 has impacted Delaware Valley so far

Interactive map tracks spread of COVID-19 globally

For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.