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

Sparrow performs “Walt’s Waltz”

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Accordion-playing busker Sparrow performs in front of the Woolworth Walk on Halloween weekend in 2010.

I met Sparrow the weekend of the first MoogFest in downtown Asheville. Even on an average weekend, the city could be mistaken for a costume party that had somehow spilled out onto the streets, but add Halloween weekend and a major, national-level electronic music festival to the mix, and the experience began to border on the hallucinatory. Continue reading

Brian McGee and Krum perform “First Kiss”

Brian McGee and Kevin “Krum” Rumley perform “First Kiss” in downtown Asheville.

Shortly before the release of his album The Taking or The Leaving, alt-country and Americana artist Brian McGee spent the the better part of a day busking song from the recording in front of the Iron sculpture in downtown Asheville, NC. He was joined midway through the set by drummer Kevin “Krum” Rumley, whose unique talents include the ability to seamlessly keep time while puffing away on a cigarette. Continue reading

Taylor Martin and Lyndsay Pruitt perform “Devil’s in the Barroom”

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Lyndsay Pruitt on fiddle, Taylor Martin on guitar and vocals.

When I first met her, I was almost certain that the last thing Lyndsay Pruitt wanted was to be recorded. She was sitting on a bench near a noodle shop in downtown Asheville, and she had a distant way of talking, almost like she’d rather be anywhere other than in a conversation with a stranger. But, as I explained my project and its goals, she warily agreed to let me record her. Little did I know that this slightly awkward chance encounter would result in one of my favorite early recordings. Continue reading