Locust Honey (Sarah Jamison on guitar, Chloe Edmonstone on fiddle and Ariel Dixon on banjo)
The moment I rounded the corner from Battery Park to Haywood, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. In the recessed alcove of Kim’s Wigs were three young women playing to a clutch of captivated passersby. Not just any young women, either. They were obviously talented players, and knew the idiom of traditional and old-time American folk tunes well. For the purposes of video, however, the jackpot was that they were all attractive in that tangible, earthy way folk musicians should be.
It was Busk Break gold, right from the start.
It’s safe to say that the three were still getting used to the attention of that afternoon as I approached. It was the July 4th weekend of 2011, and a great time to be a busker in downtown Asheville. The air was warm, but not yet oppressively hot. They were huge crowds of three-day-weekenders pumping through the city’s veins, happy to part with coins and small bills for a moment’s entertainment. By the time I approached, camera-in-hand, they were already receiving waves of compliments from strangers. Continue reading →
PJ Bond and Lauren Baker perform in front of Kim’s Wigs in summer 2010.
Last week, we featured a song by then-local singer-songwriter PJ Bond from the pre-video days of Busk Break. This week, we’re adding the second tune from that recording in July of 2010, as Bond was joined in front of Kim’s Wigs by his friend Lauren Baker.
Baker is probably best known as the musical saw player from local “absurdist, gypsy, folk, funk, punk” band Sirius.B. (To be fair, like most members of that band, she’s a multi-instrumentalist, but the musical saw thing tends to stick out.) Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
By the time this photo was taken, the only weird guy still annoying Gillian Bourazak was me.
Gillian Bourazak was one of the first half-dozen buskers I recorded for the Busk Break project, and her two videos are also one of the worst missed opportunities in the entire series. She has a solid voice and a keen songwriting sense, two things I utterly failed to capture in the one opportunity I had to record her busking. The first video makes it seem even worse, as she’s distracted mid-song by one of the biggest dickheads I’ve encountered in several years of these field recordings. Continue reading →