BRANDON — In the wake of the Pulse night club shooting in 2016, Soul Circus Cowboys lead singer Billy McKnight posted a Facebook Live message called "Pause for Peace," asking anyone who would listen to pause or pray for 20 seconds every day at 7 p.m.
The gesture has ballooned into a following with thousands taking the moment to come together and reflect on the world we live in today.
"When the Pulse Nightclub got hit in Orlando we were on a little mini tour in the Southeast," McKnight said. "We were heartbroken by so much of the negativity and hate that’s in the world.
"We go live every single night, asking people to just take a deep breath, walk away from all the nonsense that goes on in the world and come together for a few seconds of silence."
Now McKnight and his bandmates — lead guitarist Rick Morgan, bassist Mike McMahon and drummer Jason Alfano — look to turn the inspiring Pause for Peace into a real movement with their new single Believe It. The video debuts tonight (Nov. 1) and the goal is for the premier to launch the movement to new heights.
SCC is working with top-flight promotions firm to help spread the word on radio and television. It’s asking fans to lend support to the project at bandtwango.com/projects/soul-circus-cowboys.
"We hope that we have tens of thousands joining us to make a difference in the world," McKnight said.
The Brandon-based band’s commitment is reflected in its frequent appearances at charity-drive festivals. On Saturday (Nov. 4), it closes out the first day of the Ruskin Seafood Festival. On Nov. 17, it stages its annual appearance at the Nativity Catholic School Novemberfest, where McKnight attended school as a child.
"We really wish we could do more," McKnight said. "There are so many people in need so we try to do as many as possible. I believe people notice because you’re giving back to your neighbors, to your friends, to the community.
"It’s given us a true connection with the people who follow us and our music."
Contact Ernest Hooper at [email protected]