Monday, March 17, 2014

Early spring calls forth the buskers

Impromptu busker band
We're still a few days from the equinox, but don't tell the Rose City. The recent stretch of warm, sunny days had Portland folks shedding their parkas and slickers in favor of shorts, skirts, and sandals. And, just as it always does, the good weather brought forth the buskers.

Last Wednesday, when Maty and I took a stroll down to Fred Meyer to pick up some groceries, we encountered a busker band playing blue-grass outside Powell's Books. They were so good I had to stop and give a listen.

I listened to them run through a couple tunes. The dobro and bass held things down while the mando and fiddle traded solos. It was an impressive display of musicianship, made all the more wondrous when I learned that the session was completely impromptu. Indeed, the musicians had never before played together! It happened that they were all on Hawthorne busking and decided on the spur of the moment to collaborate.

I captured a little smidgen of the jam they were laying down. Give a listen at the link below:

"The Impromptu Busker Band"
  • Mandolin: Rich Landar
  • Dobro/Harmonica/Voice: Joe Derby
  • Bass: Mike Cheddarschmit
  • Fiddle: Deedee
Buskers from New York

Meanwhile, just a half-block up the street, another busker band, hailing all the way from New York, was laying down another jam. This was a three-piece: guitar, stand-up bass, and snare. The guitarist and bass player sang and played kazoo solos as well. This band was more polished than the impromptu band. (They were, after all, a traveling act). Alas, I wasn't able to capture their sound.

Life on Hawthorne Boulevard. I do so love it.

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