When you record as many buskers as I have, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of prejudice. Having seen a lot of skinny white girls with dreadlocks busking on the street corners of Asheville, I’d built up a certain set of assumptions. These can be summed up with the following sentence: “I’ll be gobsmacked if she can play anything other than Dave Matthews Band covers.”
It’s great to be proven wrong, and the young woman calling herself “37” was definitely not the kind of person I was expecting to record. I’d been expecting three-chord covers, and instead I was blasted away by a seamless fusion of folk, ska, punk and other influences that simply couldn’t have come together by mere accident.
Highly original, clearly talented, and a little skittish mixed with a heap of defiant, it’s hard not to be strangely charmed by 37’s persona.
Sadly, this was in the early days of the Busk Break project, when my interviews were limited to just a few exchanges. I don’t know much about her story beyond what details can be teased out from her songs.