Sparrow performs “Power Ballad”

Accordion-playing busker Sparrow performs her original song “Power Ballad” near Woolworth Walk 2011.
It had been the better part of a year since I’d encountered Asheville-based busker Sparrow, and I was glad to run into her again. Her video had been one of the most popular from the first year of Busk Break, and I genuinely enjoyed listening to her perform. Although she’d seen the video from Halloween the year before, she said she couldn’t recall which song she performed for me. I remembered the tune, but couldn’t remember the name of it. So, after a moment, she decided to go with a song she was almost certain she hadn’t performed for me.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t quite recall how the song she wanted to play went. So, right in front of me, she worked the entire thing out. Watching the fragments of melody come together as she recalled each part, played out of sequence and in a kind of chaotic jumble, was a truly fascinating moment. The tail end of this is actually the start of the video. Instead of stopping and saying “I’ve got it, are you ready to film?” she simply turned it into the intro of the song, and launched right into the performance. It was captivating. The song is called “Power Ballad.”

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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.