Sunday, February 26, 2017

My Friend Daniel Beaudoin

I might as well kill two birds with one proverbial stone, by not only mentioning my friend, Daniel, but sharing a video of him that I found by Googling him. I have not heard the actual thing, because I didn't bring my headphones with me here to Starbucks, but I am sure that it is typical Daniel, because he is pretty consistent, as far as performing songs a certain way, and has a lot memorized.
He plays on Royal Street in the spot vacated by Johnny B., across from the Hotel Monteleone.
Unlike Johnny B., who does garden variety "guy playing an acoustic and singing" type of stuff (think "Take It Easy," by The Eagles). 
Daniel plays slide-guitar blues, which at least gives a bit of cultural flavor to the fact that he is playing at the same spot where, you name him (King Oliver, Louis Armstrong) stood and played.
Do the above mentioned artist roll in their graves every time Johnny B. plays "Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton for intoxicated wealthy ladies? Well, they roll back over when Daniel hits them with some Howlin' Wolf...
"Can I just squeeze through with my bike and my pack and guitar, and...?"

Daniel makes pretty good money, he doesn't hesitate to throw 20 dollars into a cab ride home sometimes when he just doesn't feel like waiting a half hour for the next one. That say's something about how much he probably makes; Johnny B. used to break 100 dollars at that spot just about every night, but that's because he would stay out there until he had that amount, even if it meant 4 o' clock in the morning. "...It's late in the evening..."
He probably makes the "4 times as much" as I have been promised, should I ever get amplified.
Daniel stays out there about 3 times longer than me, though, and he is always amplified, if even by putting a microphone on a stand in front of him to capture the apparently acoustic sound in the video that I hope plays...

He said that it had been miserably slow for him this Mardi Gras.
I had my own issues to deal with that are going to conspire to make this carnival season a less lucrative one for me than the succeeding weeks.
Mainly, Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern and Bar, the oldest bar in America, established 1772 has come up to speed with the times and has been putting a blaring PA system out in front of the bar that has made it impossible for me to play until after about 1 AM, when they have been shutting it down. It isn't the typical fife and lute stuff from the 1700's, it's more like Beyonce and songs that repeat a phrase like "Bubble Butt," over and over and over...

Friday night, I made 14 bucks after 1 AM, until about 3 AM.

Last night (Saturday) I set up on Royal Street in a spot that used to be played quite frequently by John Patton (below right) the classical guitarist, at about 9:30, with ostensibly 3 and a half hours to kill before I could return to the Lilly Pad. I had tried to make it to the Louisiana Music Factory for a new harmonica, having given myself almost an hour to do so, and had not made it there, due to the difficulties with getting through parade lines

By 1 AM, I had made about another 15 dollars, playing for a swarms of people who had just come from the parades, were in a mood for catching free things thrown off of floats, rather than throwing things themselves into tip jars, apparently.

And they had the herd mentality of "If we all just barge past the guy with the guitar who is trying to get money from us at the same time, he won't be able to pick out a target to focus his skeeze upon!"

The Lilly Pad really is one of the best spots in the French Quarter to busk at; the time just has to be right.

I sit here at Starbucks, enjoying strong coffee, and only ruing the fact that their restrooms are mysteriously "out of order," on this day when hundreds of people have been interested in using it, and I have to put my laptop in my backpack and walk about 300 yards to utilize a certain little alley, one of few around the block; and one which a blind person would be able to locate by following the odor of urine coming from it.

I had a hell of a time fighting my way through the parade lines. People only seem to be willing to budge enough for a person to squeeze through, but a guy pushing a bicycle, not so willing....

1 comment:

alex carter said...

Being young helps, playing slide helps, and he doesn't sound nearly as bad as you, so that helps also. He just needs to keep his voice in good shape, don't imitate singers/bands who sucks (you know which ones; they're your favorites) and he'll be ok.