Busk Break: Kris Wahl and Friends perform “Waltz”

On a very warm night in early spring, I ran into this trio of buskers performing near Pritchard Park. They were in a group that can only be called a sloppy pile of street musicians, and there were several hangers-on nearby in various states of intoxication. But it didn’t take long to realize that these three performers — Kris Wahl, Charles Clyde Toney II and Eris Valentine — were something unusual. Although they were playing for tips in a kind of hypothetical sense, they were mostly just hanging out and playing for the experience. It was, after all, a great night to be out in the fresh air in a town like Asheville. And while there was a crowd, they were mostly playing for each other.

I spent the better part of an hour recording them, and I posted several of those videos in the days following that evening. But, not wanting to overdo it, I’ve held off releasing the rest of the recordings. After all, many extremely talented local buskers may only have one featured video on Busk Break, while this trio already has four (not counting this one). As I clear out the Busk Break archives, however, I felt like this was a good time to revisit that session and bring out just one more of their set.

Also, as an aside, the in-and-out-of-focus shooting style was intentional, if ill-advised. I’d just gotten a new camera, and given the weird, dreamy quality of the song, I thought it would be cool to play around with that. It doesn’t work, but it does make some sense if you understand the effect I was trying to go for at the time.

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