Taylor Martin and Lyndsay Pruitt perform “Devil’s in the Barroom”

Lyndsay Pruitt on fiddle, Taylor Martin on guitar and vocals.
When I first met her, I was almost certain that the last thing Lyndsay Pruitt wanted was to be recorded. She was sitting on a bench near a noodle shop in downtown Asheville, and she had a distant way of talking, almost like she’d rather be anywhere other than in a conversation with a stranger. But, as I explained my project and its goals, she warily agreed to let me record her. Little did I know that this slightly awkward chance encounter would result in one of my favorite early recordings.

She was good, although I suspect she was also quite nervous. Who can blame her? She’d come to play for tips, and instead she had a giant microphone in her face held by a guy who said he was recording every note for posterity. After she finished playing, I thanked her and started putting away my recorder. As I turned to leave she said something like “Hey, I’m actually waiting on my friend. We were going to play together, and you should come back.”

I went and got a cup of coffee, and listened to the recording. It wasn’t bad by any means, but it didn’t really speak to me. On a whim, on my way back to my car, I decided to swing by where Pruitt was and see if her friend was there. He was.

And the two of them were, to put it mildly, amazing.

Pruitt’s friend was Taylor Martin, and when I gave him my spiel about the project, he gave me a funny smile and say “That’s a cool job, man.” Then the two of them started playing his original tune “Devil’s in the Barroom.” Don’t read what I have to say about it. Just listen.

Of course, this was a very early Busk Break, and it would be several weeks before I would start incorporating video into the project. Now, however, Busk Break is mostly known as video project, and I like to make sure all the songs have some kind of video presence. Since a static image is boring, I’ve added a weird public domain video from the Prelinger archives called “The Brotherhood of Man” to keep it interesting.

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Steve Shanafelt

Steve Shanafelt used to think he was a writer. Lots of other people thought he was a very good one, and they paid him to write everything from news articles to erotic comic books. Then, a few years ago, he started to realize that writing was just one very tiny piece of the puzzle. He started recording podcasts, producing field recordings of busking musicians, making short video series and learning how to make websites. Along the way, he learned lots of ways not to manage businesses and how to promote those businesses online. Now, people pay him surprisingly large sums of money to show them some of the things he's picked up.