Filed under: Music, Travel | Tags: busking, farmer's market, Gilsland Farm, Maine Audubon, Music, street music
7/1 – Friday, Blue, Congress St. Portland, 6 to 7:30pm – In the round with Griffin Sherry – further proof that there’s something in the water in Buxton, and Adam Klein on tour from Athens, Georgia.
7/2 – Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in Deering Oaks
7/3 – El Rayo, 101 York St. Portland, 7 -9pm – A great night of music with myself on tune-writing, vox, and guitar joined by one of longest running musical friends Joe Bloom on Harmonica, a new friend and amazing fiddle maker as well as player John Cooper on fiddle and dobro, and Devon Colella on Cello. It will be a really interesting night, and I hear the food is good too.
7/7 – Dogfish Cafe – come on down and sing a few. I have the whole night to myself, but I’d like some other folks to join in too. Leila Crockett and Griffin Sherry will be singing a few.
7/9 – Kennebunk Old Homes Day – The Hive 2-3:30ish
7/13 – Lonfellow Arts Center. Maine Songwriters’ Association night at the Longfellow. Will be joined by Drew Wyman on bass and Joe Bloom on Harmonica.
7/15 – Gritty’s Freeport. Free for all – in more ways than one.
7/16 – Yarmouth Clam Fest – 4:30 on the Green something or other stage. Joined by Zach Ovington on fiddle, Drew Wyman on Bass, and Joe Bloom on Harmonica.
Ant marks the spot. I’m not sure about what. If someone knows what the cool ant is for, let me know. For me, it marks the best spot to play some music during the Wed. Farmer’s Market in Monument Square. First come first serve, and the quality of music in the farmer’s market is pretty spectacular if I may say so myself.
This week I had a really pleasant surprise by running into my old roommate and bandmate Leila. I had just moved back from my first teaching job overseas in Thailand when I met Leila at an open mic. I was talking about needing a place to live and she invited me over later that week to check out her place and her roommates to see how it would fit. It was a great time in a vertible flophouse that included sporty types, musicians, and eventually a couple of eastern european girls who may have been prostituting out of the back door. Leila is an amazing player and scholar of old timey music. The dude is a regular at the farmer’s market, an old-time banjo and clarinet player who worked with Louis Armstrong when he was a teenager. The one thing that can be said about Portland, is that it has no shortage of creative characters.
Playing music in the streets and unamplified in coffee shops have been my favorite shows this whole summer. People tip, buy CDs, and feel like they can come up close and ask a question, talk about the songs, or tell a story or two themselves. Although that has the flip side of people walking up in the middle of a song, like an adorable old lady on Wed., who just started gabbing, ” I got one of them (guitar) for mother’s day. I sure don’t know how to play it though.” I’m not going to stop singing mid song to chat with you, unless you’re handsome and now wearing a ring. Luckily, Leila, who was playing guitar, was able to talk to folks, and responded in a cheery voice, “Get a book!”
Last Saturday, as I was getting my guitar out of the car, a lady walked up to me. Didn’t introduce herself or anything. Just started gabbing about how her husband had a home studio and was looking for clients. Guitar does not equal sucker willing to throw money in your general direction for services rendered in a mediocre manner. Well, actually it does mean sucker, but for different reasons. The music industry has morphed into this system where musicians spend considerably more money than they make putting out what have become “necessary” aspects of self-promotion – from recordings, to photos, to websites, to advertising, to playing shithole clubs that want you to buy beer by the case. If there’s one thing I’ve realized this summer, it’s that I was right to trust my instincts to stay as far away from the meat-grinder and stick to the streets. If I’m in your town, I’ll probably find a way to play a few tunes, but you can pretty much count on the fact that it won’t be at a bar. I hear parking garages have good acoustics these days.
Besides spending every waking moment either playing, advertising for, or practicing music, I am trying to get out and enjoy what Maine has to offer. The Maine Audubon Society at Gilsland Farm is one of my favorite places. They have fields of peonies this summer, and I got away from the computer and the guitar long enough to hang out with the nieces and mom in this sanctuary by the ocean.
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