Amazingly these three hour gigs go quickly, and have their own flow to them. I enjoy setting up as the other vendors are setting up. We get to exchange pleasantries before folks start cruising through and I settle in under my pop-up tent: spread out the bag of instruments, set up my mandolin and guitar, put out my CDs, tune up and start off with some tunes I want to play. The vendors enjoy the beginning, especially with a nice acoustic sound track.
As the families start passing by, I shift my material to the kids’ stuff, engage the children passing by, watch them look at the bag in front of me, and away we go. Today, the $1 tips started early, some from some of the older women veggie shopping who appreciate what I’m doing. Even the younger dude selling fizzy tea next to me gave me a bottle as a tip. It lasted all day, including the trip to CT and back later on.
I’m doing this one once a month for their craft and arts Sunday, so there is a special vibe going on. More and more familiar faces, with folks stopping by to say hello, nods and waves from others as they pass by and kids lighting up when they see me. It’s all good.
One fellow stopped by who said he has one of my old guitars, a Favilla that was my first good guitar (not a Martin, though). We chatted and he later posted a picture of it on FB. He wants me to sign it. Really? I guess I will. I’m getting used to this. I’ve had the chance to run into a couple of my old instruments in the last couple of years.
Towards the end of my stint, the fizzy tea dude mentioned he liked my version of Voodoo Chile on mandolin. That was nice. He mentioned he’s started playing around on mandolin himself. I talked about how I took it up to force me to think in terms of playing scales and tunes since I’m not a great lead player on guitar. I also suggested that he start bringing it to these farmers’ markets and get some time in while waiting for customers.
It was one of the better farmers’ markets this year. I sold a CD (!!!) and a pulled in a bunch of dollar bills that go into my laundry day cash stash. I have an hour to decompress before my trek to Ron Anthony’s CD bash tonight.