Starting Out

Getting Started on the Street

If you live in a medium to large city anywhere in this country, you have probably seen it. Street musicians playing whatever instrument they have, with a hat or case or bucket in front of them collecting donations. Many early musicians that started this way for a number of reasons. One to obviously make money.  And two, to be seen by others. Making music for a lot of musicians takes up a lot of their time and many of them don’t have the opportunity to pursue other career. They may have a job full-time or part-time that pays their rent etc., but it doesn’t really provide them with a good living. In Philadelphia, Jon Kois, performed the drums outside until he was able to start beginner drum lessons.

street performer

So many of them take to the streets and parks to make ends meet through the craft of choice. Most of the time you see the guitarists or even a drummer, but nowadays you’re seeing even classical musicians playing violins and cellos. If they live in a larger city, playing outdoors can be quite substantial. I’ll bet it’s mostly in dollar bills and quarters, but it all adds up over time. The second part of that is they are exposed to in large number of people, who may have the opportunity to help them further their career. You never know these days who is walking down the street. Even though most of the people are in suits and ties, they could easily be an ad exec, or work for a record label.

street musicians

Or they just may know somebody who can help you, and appreciate what you’re doing and are offer to help. What an interesting trend these days is a lot of times after musicians make it, they return to their roots and go back to street performing for fun. They don’t play for money anymore, a lot of times they won’t even take it. I just feel so grateful for the gift I have been given and the opportunity to do it I love, I just want to give back to the community that made my success. In the end that’s what it’s all about. The love of your craft and wanting to share it with others.

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Tribute to The RAMM Band

Paul Mayasich and his band were very well received by the crowd
on Friday and I have a strong feeling that they have many new
fans. Paul was sporting his brand new white firebird guitar and
making it sing and the band was very very tight. I wish I had a buck
in my pocket from each person who came up and asked me about them
afterwards! It was the same thing later that evening at Stubbs bar
where they played to a packed house (and it was very hot on Friday!).

The Stubbs crowd was wide-eyed as they watched the band in awe, and it
was a very cool thing to see. Paul was playing hot, eyes closed with
the music flowing through him, the conduit, flowing out from fingers
to strings. When you watch Mayasich play, you know it’s not just a job
or a paycheck… he feels it as strongly as Stevie, Jimi, and so many
legends before him. You can see it and feel it. He was born with it
and is the real deal. Those of you living in his area are so fortunate
to have him around, he could be playing anywhere. Several people went
up to Toby Marshall’s Hammond to watch his hands as he was playing
that thing…and man Toby sure can play that thing! Toby, Toby, Toby!


John Wright turned in one of the most impressive bass solos
that I’ve ever heard that night and Jeff Rogers…he keeps perfect
time, pounding those skins with a smile and so much exuberance! There
is nothing like seeing a live band where all of the musicians are top
notch like this, and it was such a treat to be able to hear them in
our Mountains and in my home town watering hole. This band makes me
*feel it* every single time I hear them. And as if we didn’t already
know that Mayasich was all about the music…he proved it once more by
playing an amazing solo acoustic set on the festival’s busking stage.