In memoriam – Will Wojenski

© John Gellman

My friend, Will, battled depression for many years until he couldn’t take it any more. He took his life here in Asheville on October 31st. He was 22. I met Will not long after he moved to the area to attend Warren Wilson College a few years ago. He used to hang out in front of the Flatiron Building, where my studio is located, and there are some tables, chairs, and an electrical outlet. We are both night owls and it was not unusual for me to find him there charging his phone or laptop when I was leaving late at night. He  eventually dropped out of school and turned his attention to busking. Will was extremely smart and funny too, so we became friends.  He liked to sing and play his guitar, eat fettuccine alfredo, have conversations about science and things I largely did not understand, and watch movies. He had a kind heart. I will miss him.

show hide 4 comments

Benefit For Puerto Rico – Sunday the 22nd @ Fleetwoods

© John Gellman

Poorboy Krill, above, has gotten together with several other buskers to produce an afternoon of music at Fleetwoods in West Asheville benefiting hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Music starts at noon on Sunday October 22nd with Dylan Grove, followed in order by Lo Wolf, Stevie Lee Combs, Poorboy Krill & Friends, Vaden Landers & The Do Rights, and Lyle Rickards. This is a great opportunity to hear several of the great musicians that have been featured on this blog for a most reasonable price while helping victims of the recent hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico.

no comments

Busker of the day – Conor Moor

© John Gellman

As promised, Conor Moor is the other half of the busking duo I mentioned yesterday. Or should I say one third, since they have apparently added a bassist/guitarist today. That’s how things go on the sidewalks of Asheville. I neglected to say that they are going by the name Rich Girl  Poor Boy. I think one of them had a rich girlfriend at some point, and, well, you can guess the rest of the story. (Traveling and living out of a car should be a dead giveaway.) Conor is a very accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist who fronts two other bands, including the Tangerine Acid Love Machine, that I presume are on hiatus while he is traveling. I haven’t heard his other bands, but I do hope he sticks with this one long enough to record some music, because these guys are REALLY good.

show hide 1 comment

Busker of the day – Joseph Williams

© John Gellman

Joseph is half of a duo that stopped me in my tracks in front of Mast General Store in Asheville a few days ago. He and his traveling companion, Conor Moor, have some great material and they play it pretty damn good. They impressed me enough to listen to a few songs and invite them up to the Flatiron Studio for some photos. Joseph and Conor don’t don’t really have a band as such. They have just been traveling, singing, writing, busking, and playing the shit out of their guitars, while living out of Joseph’s car for the last few weeks. As you may notice in the pic, a trip to the music store is next on the agenda to buy guitar strings. They each have their own projects, and I have no idea how long this duo will last, but they are certainly worth hearing if you get the chance. And stay tuned. Conor is up next.

show hide 1 comment

Busker of the day (again) – Vaden Landers

© John Gellman

I hardly ever photograph buskers playing outside. But the light late Tuesday afternoon at the Flatiron was so cool, I just had to get some shots of my friend, Vaden Landers.

no comments

Busker of the day – Poorboy Krill

© John Gellman

Not every photo of a busker has to contain an instrument. Especially when the busker shows up empty handed, having left his guitar and banjo at home. Well, every face tells a story, so I don’t need no stinking banjo to make a photograph. Poorboy Krill is a relative newcomer to the sidewalks of Asheville, but just about every busker I know and respect told me I had to get his picture. Krill is not just a musician, he’s also an artist and photographer. If this shot looks a little different stylistically from my usual work, it’s because Krill sat with me and we made post-processing Photoshop decisions together. I love collaborating with my subjects.

no comments

Busker of the day – Stevie Lee Combs

© John Gellman
Singer/songwriter Stevie Lee Combs visited my Flatiron Studio today for a portrait. The self described omnivore of Americana can often be found busking in Asheville, performing country blues based jug band music. Whether he’s performing alone or with others, you might find the Tom Waits admiring multi-instrumentalist playing guitar, banjo, harmonica, kazoo, and who knows what else. And he’s an award winning songwriter. Also, I gotta thank Billy Scribbles for introducing us and suggesting a portrait session.

 

show hide 1 comment

Those were the days – Days N’ Daze at Crooked Wood

Here’s a shot from my favorite music venue ever in Asheville. Days N’ Daze is performing at the long gone Crooked Wood in October, 2014. That’s right, this shot is almost three years old. So why post it now? Well, I had a pizza for dinner tonight at a restaurant where a guy named Freddie used to work. Freddie lived at the house where Crooked Wood existed in his basement. Since it was not only under the house, but under the radar as well – had no liquor license, no fire inspections, no food safety inspections, and was generally illegal in any and every respect, I never published anything I shot there because I did not want to get anyone in trouble or see it shut down. All to no avail, because the landlord shut it down before anyone got arrested. But, in my opinion, while it lasted, it was the best venue for live music in Asheville. And I miss it almost as much as I miss Jon Stewart. Of course, Days N’ Daze are doing quite well. They are on the verge of real fame, playing much larger venues for actual money. Anyway, I thought about Crooked Wood as I ate my pizza, remembered that I had this picture in my archive, and figured it was about time to publish it. I hope all statutes of limitations have expired.

no comments

C o p y r i g h t