Busk Break: Charles Clyde Toney II and Friends

Downtown busking culture is a fluid thing, and now that the finger-numbing chill of winter has finally given way to evenings where it’s more pleasant to be outside than in, Asheville’s streets are once again becoming thick with street performers. It’s almost like walking out into a field that was barren except for scrub, and finding it now overwhelmed with colorful wildflower blooms. This recording is from April 16, an evening where the most exciting thing I had planned was to file my taxes. Instead, I ran into a throng of street musicians — several of which were outstanding — killing time on the corner of College and Haywood, just outside of the reach of the Pritchard Park wardens. As it so happened, I’d been wanting to test out my new camera’s night-shooting quality. Charles Clyde Toney II was happy to oblige, joined here by two friends (to be featured later in videos of their own) and an off-camera guitarist attempting to play solo, to the seeming irritation of the other three.

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