Buskers of the day – A Murder of Crows

© John Gellman

No, they are not killing crows, or counting them either. A murder of crows means a flock of crows, and the term dates back to the 15th century. I looked it up. Never too old to learn something I didn’t know. They seemed unsure what the name of their band was. I was about to suggest Dirty Kids and Their Dogs, but they settled on A Murder of Crows. Anyway, it is the dog days of summer, so it was totally appropriate to feature a group of dirty kids and their dogs on my blog today. Trevor, Jefferson, and Clyde hail from Austin, Texas. Sorry, but I forgot the dogs’ names. They played a mean version of House of the Rising Sun while I was shooting this pic. Be sure to drop a couple bucks in their tip bucket if you see them playing around Asheville.

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Buskers of the day – Dylan & Gary, The Low Pay Daddys

© John Gellman

Ohioans Dylan Grove and his friend Gary Bungo passed through Asheville this week busking as the Low Pay Daddys. I talked with them on the sidewalk, and they had already heard about my busker portraits from some other buskers, so they agreed to come up to my Flatiron Studio for a photo session before hitting the road again. Thanks guys, and happy trails. It’s good to be shooting again after a month long boring recovery from foot surgery.

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Cool people I’ve met – Sam Wild

© John Gellman

I first met Sam Wild at a Full Moon Gathering, a huge monthly party held in or near Asheville, on the weekend closest to a full moon. I wanted to photograph him as soon as I saw him. Sam is a musician, producer, performer, and a DJ. He can be a little, well, wild, but always fun. He is apparently better known around town than I was aware.  When I left my Flatiron Studio after the photo shoot, the elevator operator asked me “Did you photograph Sam Wild?” I told him indeed I did, and got an approving nod. Over the years, the elevator operators in the Flatiron Building have become oblivious to the cast of characters, rogues, and scoundrels that visit me on the fifth floor. For any of them to mention one of my subjects to me is highly unusual. But Sam is awfully hard not to notice.

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Busker of the day – Mikey

© John Gellman

Mikey has a last name but he prefers to use only his first. After a two year period spent farming in Massachusetts, Mikey can again be found busking on the sidewalks of downtown Asheville. Thursday was a bit rainy, so it was no problem for him to visit my Flatiron Studio for a photo session. Though he is the spitting image of George Bernard Shaw, if George Bernard Shaw had fought in the Civil War, (he didn’t, and neither did Mikey) I don’t believe he includes any songs from My Fair Lady in his repertoire of traditional music.

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Busker of the day – Shawn Alan Hurd

© John Gellman

I was at home Sunday afternoon when I got a text message from my busking friend, Billy Scribbles. He asked me to come downtown and make a portrait of his friend, Shawn Alan Hurd, of Portland, OR, who was busking in Asheville today. Shawn is a singer/songwriter who performs beautiful folk/Americana style music. Billy brought him up to my Flatiron Studio where he played me a song and posed for this portrait.

 

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Ike Stubblefield – an artist with soul and grace, and what a face

© John Gellman

How cool is it to have a great guy like Ike Stubblefield agree to sit for a quick portrait session, to appear on the seventh anniversary of this blog? He has the coolest face this side of Morgan Freeman, with a lifetime of music and art etched into his cheeks and glowing from his eyes. An American Master on keyboards for sure. I’ve known Ike since I shot an album cover for him almost four years ago. He happened to be performing in Asheville last night, and immediately agreed to visit me at my Flatiron Studio when I asked him if he would pose. I’m grateful he took the time from his busy schedule to spend a few minutes and let me do my thing.

And yes, this is the seventh anniversary of my blog. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for so long. It has been a lot of work, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Many thanks to all those who have followed the blog since I started in May 2010, as well as to those who have discovered it more recently.

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As far out on a limb as I get

© John Gellman

This is what can happen if I get bored and start looking through random old images. I found this pic from October 2015 that I took at the Biltmore Estate and thought, what if? So I played with a Photoshop filter and came up with a perfect image to stare at after you drop acid. Click HERE to see it really big.

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Cool people I met – Ben Phan

© John Gellman

Some of the most serious hikers in Asheville choose to trek the entire Appalachian Trail. Not Ben Phan. He hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail with his backpack and a small guitar, entertaining hikers and others along the way, while writing songs inspired by his experience. Now he lives in the Asheville area and records his music with his band, The Soul Symphony. We have been Facebook friends for a couple years, but had never actually met until today, when Ben stopped by my Flatiron Studio for a portrait. Ben Phan & The Soul Symphony are releasing their second album, “fear is the teacher” very soon. An album release show is scheduled for June 10th at Isis Music Hall in West Asheville.

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