This one is a stretch, with 4 hours of playing with some sun protection for nominal fee for such a long gig. But, I signed up for it because it is all good.
9 am start on a Sunday, but there’s quite a few vendors with me. This ones’ been going on for many years, and this was my first. In fact, I pulled up and asked the first vendor I met who to get in touch with. He pointed me in the right direction and then said, “You’re not going to play loud, are you?” Welcome.
I opted out of the ‘regular’ spot at the end next to a truck with a generator going. I opted in on a space amongst the vendors, no sound, and that’s what works for me. It turned out to be the best choice, anyway.
I started in making connections with the kid in the next stand, and kicked in playing music. Folks drifted by, and in the course of 4 hours, families, kids, solo men, nearby vendors were pulled in. It’s pretty constant work, though I can change mid-song and play to specific folks as they approach.
For the most part, it’s honest work – trolling for tips and CD sales – and the $1’s flow in, and I’m grateful for each one. And I get to exercise my communication skills while practicing my songs. That’s great!
I continue to meet folks brought up in this Fry Folk tradition, whether its at my old bar gigs, weddings, family road trips with my CD’s, bed time rituals, kids that now play music brought up on Peanut Butter and Jelly, etc. Its all a wonderful ego boost. I am in awe that my music has formed such deep, personal and, importantly, familial bonds that I only occasionally get to hear about in chatter between songs. I used to be embarrassed about these things, but now I accept them with a knowing smile.
All part of growing old gracefully, I guess.