Articles, Blog

Exploring Charleston West Virginia as a Street Performer (Busker)

September 15, 2019


Just came into Charleston West Virginia
from Louisville. I spent the night at Daniel Boone National Forest last night in
the back of my truck. It was really nice there was a bunch of things chirping in
the trees. I came in here to check out the the city and see how the people liked me
based on the facial expressions that they give me while I play music on their
streets and you know I didn’t know if I was going to play. Usually when I roll into a town I don’t even know if I’m going to play, I don’t know if I’m gonna stay ten minutes or if I’m gonna stay for four hours, and I had a really good time in Charleston. It’s the biggest
city in West Virginia, it’s right by a river which is really cool I really like
these river towns, I like the the brick sidewalks of these places. So it was
really intriguing to me and I went to the bookstore because I think that one of the main ways to detect an interesting area of town is to look
where the bookstores at, and then I found a nice spot I wanted to street
perform, I wanted to busk, near the bookstore. Hear there voice on the other line we shared so many years together, tell me
how you been bad tell me data how’s the weather people were really great, I got 17 bucks,
I gave away one, I gave away three download cards, the ladies at the
barbershop were really into me she came out and she was like “oh how long you
staying in town” and all this stuff and I’m like “oh I gotta go” you know because
I kind of want to hit the road and hit up Richmond Virginia by the end of the
day “oh you’re gonna play a song for me” I was like check out my youtube,
hopefully they they subscribe to my youtube and check out what I got
going on there. The thing is. I find it really nice
that people gave me some cash I wish that everybody who gave me cash I could
give them a free download card but sometimes I think they feel awkward and
I think that I want people to understand that the download cards don’t cost me
any money they cost me like 33 cents to make so you’re not taking anything from
me if you take a download card because I’m not here to make money. It’s nice, I
want to know how much money I can make like that’s useful knowledge to me and
to compare different areas that work better than others. It’s interesting, I made more money playing on the street here in Charleston West Virginia
or Louisville Kentucky than I would playing in Memphis Tennessee or Austin
Texas or Nashville Tennessee you know and so that’s the thing is that these
people they’re all getting off work and when they see somebody like me out on
the street and this is kind of like what the lady at the barber shop is, she was
really encouraging, she was like you know you should get a gig at the bookstore
and you should come inside the barber shop and play, all these nice things I
mean I only got like an hour on my parking I think my parking is gonna go
up, that’s a whole ‘nother thing I want to say that I’ve been driving 6,000 miles
on this road trip scouring towns, street
performing and experimenting, the 2019 busking experiment that I’ve been doing,
you know it’s been like 6,000 miles I’ve been driving I haven’t got one parking
ticket, they definitely enforce it here I’ve
seen them on the windows, I’ve seen the people coming out, it almost happened in
Dallas, almost happened in Dallas, good thing it didn’t otherwise I’d be calling
you out here Dallas cuz I don’t think it was my fault if it happens I
mean a lot of times it’s just confusion and like you know I’m happy to
pay but just make it easy to figure out what the deal is and what the
rules are, but these towns like Charleston West Virginia and Louisville
you know I was walking by a lot of people in suits and people kind of very
professional people and these people were tipping but you know you’re also
contributing music culture to an area that doesn’t necessarily have music
culture like here I was the only one out there playing music and you know so it’s
kind of these business homey kind of small town places that I
think are really really good and work well for me because people appreciate
that you’re kind of changing the culture and you’re bringing something there. If
you go into Nashville and those type of places and you play on the
street you’re not changing the culture you’re just a fixture you’re just
another person that people have to walk around and you’re just another thing
contributing to all the noise. The other thing I realized when I was in
Louisville yesterday is that there was a section where the the kind of
beggars were at and there were some buskers there too so there was beggars with signs and then there was people playing guitar trying to get
money and I want to just distinguish myself from them because I want to kind
of create an intention that I’m not trying to beg I’m trying to
bring exposure to my music and I’m trying to interact with people and communicate with them you know, and that’s what happened, I talked to the people at the
barber shop, she was really nice she told me to come back you know things like
that she told me what she likes about the town and about the surrounding
regions and I never would have gotten a chance to talk to
people on the street of Charleston West Virginia if I wasn’t out there playing
music on the street too you know in front of this barbershop and things like that, and
so that’s the whole thing about music and the importance of music and that’s
why in Louisville I wanted to distinguish myself by going
and playing in another area. Another thing I do to distinguish myself from a
begger and to be more of a performer, or somebody just trying to
gain exposure, or you know even musicians who were touring and passing through who have a day off, it just makes sense for them to go and play on the street
because you have nothing else to do. Just do it. Maybe you pick
up a few fans maybe you pick up a few additional fans from that you know and
that’s something. So I went to a different area to street perform and
also to distinguish myself in Louisville. And I used amplification, so I’ve got an
actual mic in front of me and I’ve got a placard that says free download’ cards
so you know, even just demonstrate that I’m that I have downloads you know I
have live recordings and I want to give them to you for free. I want just
for you to hear me and get exposure to me and if you like me then I’d like you
to consume more of my information like that’s all I want. So that maybe
a year from now or when I actually come through the city
potentially you could go see my show, that type of thing, so those things all
distinguish myself, having free download cards and trying to dress
nice, you know I try to dress nice and I think that makes a difference There’s a lot of issues in society in
terms of judging people based on how they look and if you look homeless
people assume that you are homeless and they’ll treat you differently especially
if you know they’re trying to get people who might be
dangerous or homeless or beggars off the street so if I have to interact
with an authority like a security guard or a police officer and I’m doing
something like this then the more things that lend legitimacy to what I’m doing
the easier time I’m gonna have you know so if I can show them that I’m
dressed nice, if I could show them that I’m recording what I’m doing with a
fancy camera, that kind of thing says something. It could be as
if I’m making a music video or something like that, right, and then
talking to them like a normal person you know it’s it’s been funny the two times
that somebody has told me that I had to stop playing somewhere which is at the
Santa Fe Plaza when I was in a certain section where you weren’t supposed to be
because it was where all the ceramics and jewelry people were set up
and then at the Nashville farmers market two people came up to tell me, you know
they only really needed one person but they were conscientious enough
to, if there’s any backlash they wanted to have two people there and I
just think it’s funny cuz like immediately, you know
like in Nashville the guy came up to me and I was like “hey man you need me to move” I see you need me to move and it’s like
yeah that’s fine it’s totally no big deal I’m literally just gonna go
move somewhere else because it’s more important to me just to figure out what
the rules are and what the situation is than it is to have a conflict or
argue with you about it, so even like if arguing with the officer or the security
guard could have made me stay there longer I don’t really want to be there if I have to argue for it. I want it to be like here where I played ten songs and somebody came out and said “are you gonna play some more”
and I’m like “no my parking’s expired now I can see but
that’s the kind of situation I want back and forth feedback with people I want to feel wanted in some way. That’s a metric to detect how well you’re doing and this and in all
these endeavors. So you know man I went on, it happens sometimes sometimes I got a
lot to say and that’s good I want to flesh it all out. So hit me up with
the subscribes press that red subscribe press the bell button next to it for
notifications on my new posts I post once per week and I talk about my
experiences and my travels and my psychological ideas because I’m into
that kind of stuff, so hit me up with the likes and the shares – in the comments
let me know of any places I could play at or wherever I could be playing on the
street so yeah good times in Charleston what else do I have to say. They’re
doing a good job of supporting music. They got something going on tonight at the river. They have the
stage at the Haddad Riverfront Park and all these people go see it. It’s Friday night so that’s
exciting and I kind of want to head out I’m hoping to make it to Richmond Virginia
tonight to see JD McPherson he’s a really great artist who I think is not
quite on the full radar that he deserves. He’s just gonna keep getting bigger and
he’s one of the best live performers I’ve seen so I caught that he was
playing today up in Richmond, gonna head over there and try to check it out
thanks for tuning into my channel I appreciate you

No Comments

Leave a Reply