On a warm July night in 2010, singer-songwriter PJ Bond stood in front of a wig store and played his heart out. This was in the early days of the Busk Break project, and it set the tone for the rest the performances that summer.
Bond had only been living in town for a year or so, but his brother, Pancho Romero Bond, was already established as the frontman of local “absurdist, gypsy, folk, funk, punk” band Sirius.B. Although not nearly the same level of showman as his brother, I’d argue that PJ Bond is clearly the better songwriter. But PJ never really found his niche in novelty-act living Asheville, and his time as a busker didn’t last long.
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The summer of 2010 was one of the most fun eras of the Busk Break project thus far. It was the first year the city was truly inundated with street musicians, and the novelty had yet to wear of for most of the downtown set. Many of the buskers from that time weren’t local musicians looking for a place to play and earn a few bucks, rather than the turf-guarding professional buskers that now reign in the city.
PJ Bond wasn’t one of those professional buskers. He playing for tips, but he didn’t need to. He was already a touring musician at this point, and had a studio album under his belt. There’s a lot to like in his work, and I highly suggest checking out his album You Didn’t Know I Was Alphabetical if you like what you hear in the video.
Now, about that video. This is also a recording from the very early days of Busk Break. The pre-video days present an interesting challenge, as we’re now a video rather than a podcast-based project. So, I’ve decided to set the song to a film called “Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire” from the creative commons/public domain Prelinger archives. (A big thank you to Archive.org for providing this content.)