Saturday, June 25, 2016

I Love Harmonica

30 Dollar Friday
Ben's Visit Doubtful

Ben, my friend in Massachusetts who fervently wanted to come vacation here, is not sounding like he is going to follow through. He is dealing with a legal issue up there, ironically, from the period before he quit drinking and; without going into too much detail, I might run into him up there before he sees me here.
That would mean that the time right after July 5th, when my food card will become charged would be a time to consider travelling. I could do like some other buskers I know and call ahead to possible points along the way, trying to alert certain people that I will be passing through.

For buskers like Brian Hudson that works out to him having gigs to play along the way; drive by day, gig at some out of the way bar and finance the trip that way. That used to happen in Mobile when a certain club would cancel their open mic night or something because a group of musicians that they know are passing through and are given the gig.

That is something that only "the 1%" of buskers enjoy...the ability to drive from here to Alaska in a van and have bookings 5 nights a week along the way, to pay for it all plus some; with a designated driver napping backstage -the pub owner more than willing to let the house band take a night off so that Pintown, USA (pop. 1,775) can hear some New Orleans music, even if it's just Brian...LOL, just kiddin' Brian.

I had new strings on the guitar last night.

After walking down to the Dollar General and getting Harold the cat one of his favorite flavors of cat food (chicken in clam sauce, not available everywhere) and an energy drink for myself, placing a few warm ones in the "Pepsi" cooler, so that I can have a cold one tonight, I realized that it was still early.

Saying "no" to skeezers in between sips, I finished it off and then caught one of the earlier, for me, trolleys.

Niko, the singer/guitarist whom I think is "bi-polar," is often on one of those earlier trolleys, as she was again.

I had 19 dollars, a few cigarettes, no weed, new strings and a can of Harold's favorite cat food, and an Arizona Energy drink, as I arrived at the Lilly Pad.

There was a guy standing around there, whom I struck up a conversation with after he had asked me what the address there was, and after I had hung my spotlight in the vines which prompted a discussion about how I had claimed an otherwise unbuskable spot from The Darkness, and was now able to make money there. He started me off with my first dollar, as I started to play, and 2 minutes into the "song," which I think was an improvisation about what was going on around us, he added another dollar.

I leaned on melodic harmonica solos that weren't so high energy as to have me sweating in the 85 degree night, and that could be stretched out and that could be picked up in intensity at the appearance of anyone who shows interest, either by approaching, or by yelling a variation of: "Yeah, I LOVE harmonica!"

I sprinkled lyrics in here and there, which tells people what song it is, and allows them, in some cases to vicariously tip the artist whose music it is as a way of "recognizing" them, and in other cases demonstrates that also sing as well as play the harmonica and guitar, for what that is worth in the tip jar; and I had slowly accumulated a pile of ones and a five by midnight, after having played for 2 and a half hours.

I was feeling pretty spent and ready to quit, but remembered that, other times, 15 minutes off to consume an Arizona Energy drink had me feeling refreshed and ready to play for another 2 hours.
Thus, I was back on the spot at 12:30 AM, ready to play another hour, which I did, and probably made 10 of the 30 bucks that I would wind up with.

It's Saturday, and sitting here typing this is detracting from tomorrow's post being about arriving good and early and playing a long time and catching my savings jars up.
Essence Festival is apparently on the horizon.

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