Busk Break: The Asheville Waits Band covers “Jockey Full of Bourbon”

The Asheville Waits Band in early 2012.

The Asheville Waits Band in early 2012.

Vocalist/guitarist Mark Conti and bassist Christian Ferri — both members of the Asheville Waits Band (a Tom Waits cover band) — perform “Singapore” from the album Rain Dogs in front of the Iron sculpture.

 

This video was originally recorded on a very windy day in early January, 2012.

 

 

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Busk Break: The Asheville Waits Band covers “Singapore”

BUSK-AshevilleWaitsBandVocalist/guitarist Mark Conti and bassist Christian Ferri — both members of the Asheville Waits Band (a Tom Waits cover band) — perform “Singapore” from the album Rain Dogs in front of the Iron sculpture.

 

This video was originally recorded on a very windy day in early January, 2012.

 

 

Continue reading

Mike Gray covers “Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right” on his Go-Box

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Mike Gray takes a smoke break from playing his Go-Box.

It’s a rare enough thing to harness one’s passion and dedication long enough to master any musical instrument. But to create a musical instrument, develop techniques for playing it, and then become a master of that instrument … it’s practically the stuff of musical legend. But for Austin-based musician Mike Gray, it was just something to do with a broken guitar.

Here, Gray performs the Blind Willie Johnson tune “Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right” near the Grove Arcade earlier this year. Continue reading

Dan Cioper and Shawn Bayley perform “Wheel By Wheel”

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Dan Cioper and Shawn Bayley perform in front of the Iron Sculpture in downtown Asheville, NC.

Austin-based folk musician Dan Cioper may not actually be on a formal tour, but he has been playing around the region with his New Orlean’s-based guitarist pal Shawn Bayley for the last few weeks. Here, the duo perform Cioper’s original song “Wheel By Wheel” in front of the Iron Sculpture in downtown Asheville, as darkening skies threatened rain. The duo had been packing up to move on when I encountered them, but it didn’t take much convincing to get them to play one last song, even as the clouds above began to drizzle. Continue reading

Caster covers “Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me”

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Caster performs the Bo Carter tune “Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me” in front of the Iron Sculpture in downtown Asheville, NC.

Recently unearthed from the Busk Break archives, Caster covers this classic “dirty blues” tune in 2011!

At the time of this recording, banjo-playing busker Caster had yet to write a song he felt comfortable playing in front of a camera. So I asked him, “Do you have a cover that you feel you really love? A song that you’ve truly made your own?”

He paused, stroked his thin chin beard, and thought. Then with a smile that seemed to indicate he was a little embarrassed, he said “I’ve become rather attached to a song called ‘Your Biscuits Are Big Enough For Me'”
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The Archaic return to Busk Break with a trio of tunes

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The Archaic perform near Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville, NC.

It’s hard not to have a hint of prejudice when you encounter a guitar-and-banjo busking duo. Almost certainly, you’ll prepare yourself to hear some nasal-pitched bluegrass tune, or maybe some gritty, jazzed-up novelty blues song. What you probably won’t expect is to hear music that owes as much to Marcus Mumford and Thom Yorke as it does to Earl Scruggs or Lawrence Marrero. That’s exactly what makes The Archaic so interesting. Continue reading

Marshall Railroad takes a tour break to busk in Asheville

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On tour from their home in Phillipsburg, NJ, Jason Deemer and Joe Varga stop to busk near Pack Square in downtown Asheville, NC.

On a DIY summer tour to promote their new album, Jason Deemer and Joe Varga of the Phillipsburg, NJ,-based Marshall Railroad didn’t actually have a show date in Asheville. But, as is often the case with bands on an East Coast leg of a tour, Asheville proved a handy stopping point between gigs, and a good place to busk for a little gas money. Continue reading

Alex Berkow, Juggler

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Alex Berkow juggling a few things you could buy at Lowe’s near Pritchard Park.

He’s not entirely sure how it happened, but Alex Berkow thinks that his gimmick of juggling hardware for the crowds in downtown Asheville might have happened because he lost his regular juggling equipment and had to start over with anything that had a long handle. Far from ruining his act, his new gimmick of tossing and deftly catching wrenches, plungers and hammers through the air also brought him a fair amount of tourist coin. Continue reading

Charles Clyde Toney II performs “Drunk Angels”

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Charles Clyde Toney performing in front of the Woolworth Walk.

Charles Clyde Toney II is hardly a stranger to Busk Break. In fact, he’s one of the most documented performers in the series, thanks largely to one particularly fun evening of music on a very warm spring night this year, where he was joined by fellow buskers Kris Wahl and Eris Valentine. Until now, however, there hasn’t been a recording of Toney performing by himself. Continue reading

Patrick and Cody play an untitled original

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Patrick and Cody playing in front of the Woolworth Walk on a sweltering summer day.

It was scorching hot on the streets of Asheville when I met Patrick and Cody, but you’d never know it from how chill these two were during the recording. They were hanging out in the shade in front of the Woolworth Walk, brought there by local busker Charles Clyde Toney II, and all three were performing together as I approached. Continue reading