Town Hall Brawl – – 17 June 2022

Town Hall Brawl  –  Crown Hill Village Summer Street Festival, Seattle  –  17 June 2022

The rain was not oppressive and there was a covered area to work from, out of the drizzle, which eventually let up.  The show must go on.  THB is a tight combo of seasoned professionals, they don’t mess around.  Actually, they included “Mess Around” (penned by Ahmet Ertegun and a 1953 hit for Ray Charles) in the set!

Now this band’s goin’ to play from 9 to 1
Everybody here’s gonna have some fun
Doin’ the mess around

Ertegun erudition!   There is some uncertainty regarding the name of the drummer: the THB website refers to Marty Vadalabene, Facebook refers to Vadavenus Martin.  How to annotate?  I pondered for a bit, the went with the as-signed version.  While stalling ’til the food truck grub was ready, why not include some other attractions?  Poet Reed (no relation to the band) composes on-the-spot verse according to info provided by her subjects, but I demurred on dishing autobiographical, I cannot diffuse my focus while sketching.  I thought she was blowing off me and my attitude when she departed from her table, so I moved on to the Popcorn Lady.  But the poet returned, and cranked out a touching work (reproduced at the bottom of this page)!  She commented that we were really doing the same thing, just different media.  Spot on, Melanie!

Town Hall Brawl

Melanie Reed

Heather Williams









Self Portrait

These lives graze mine –
I try to capture them
in my own way, a few strokes
here and there, a few hairs
out of place – expressions
stiff or open, characters
I can’t help but erase.

How to nail down a life
when words get in the way?
These sketches scratch
the surface – lines and shadings,
black and white and gray.

Where do we dwell
when life has shaped us,
cut us all away?
A cloud of darkness
blots the sun – I blot
the page and pray.

Melanie Reed



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Busking Seattle – 12 June 2022

Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Marker  –  12 June 2022

Considering my hearing disability, I always hope that I can correctly get the performer’s name spelled correctly.  I usually show my version to them to assure that I’ve gotten it right, but the frequent casual disinterest in close inspection – which I “get” – does not inspire the greatest of confidence.  Such is the case for one of the violin duet players, it shouldn’t be hard to tell which.  Thorne’s main busking venue is up in Bellingham.  He had the rig down pretty good, and let Jacobsen use it.  I wish that Thorne had some product; his originals were excellent!

Nandiniy Velayudhan and Galen Belding


Roger Thorne

Mads Jacobsen

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Busking Seattle – 29 May 2022

Busking Seattle – Ballard farmers Market   –  29 May 2022

Wakkuri had not only a CF Martin guitar, he had a CF Martin hat; I asked him where his CF Martin jacket was.  His set had overlap with stuff in my own covers list; the chestnuts  “Don’t Think Twice” and “City of New Orleans”, and the more obscure “Changes in Latitude”.  I threw him a buck for each.   Kincy & Silveira put out non-stop upbeat pop, I forgot to ask how many were covers vs. originals.

BJ Wakkuri


Jason Kincy & Kevin Silveira

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Busking Seattle – 8 May 2022

Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Market  –  8 May 2022

A busy day!  Chatting with Dunworley after I finished his sketch, I learned that he specializes in songs about Irish/Americans participating in the US Civil War.  Talk about a  niche!  His propaganda says that he does requests; I tried to arm-twist him into “Whiskey In The Jar” with an offer to sing along.  This despite his having just done a different tune with identical chord progression.  Somehow he didn’t take the hint, nor the tip that would have followed.  Cronin is quite a character; for starters she signs her name backwards!  Some of the bass work seemed plucked from the ether, other pieces had a more classical bent, read from music on a stand.  Later in the day she had switched to guitar.  Salzano comes from a family of musicians; he pulled a Rahsaan Roland Kirk, playing quite well two reed instruments at once.  When I came upon this duo they were between numbers; Brudi announced, “We’re waiting for Johnny…”    I was tap tap tapping my foot, (with impatience, not rhythm), so I called out, “Waiting for Johnny!”  After the reward of that first double-blowing number, I gave ’em a “Worth the wait!” shout-out.  Soggy Possums had a mix of old-time and contemporary (“Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”).

Connor Dunworley

Harmony Cronin









Johnny Salzano & Conrad Brudi


Soggy Possums

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Busking Seattle – 10 April 2022

Busking Seattle –  Ballard Farmers Market  –  10 April 2022

Corky Dragland is a stalwart!!

Corky Dragland 2022

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Norwegian Heritage Day – March 26, 2022

Norwegian Heritage Day – March 26, 2022  –  Leif Erikson Hall, Seattle

Returned to event-sketching and posting with a healthy overdose – four acts, four hours on my feet!  At least I got to scarf some Pølse with lefse (Norwegian hotdog bound up in a flexible potato-based tortilla-like wrap) before it was all gone, demand rapidly outstripping supply.  Sketching got complicated by the dancing going on: dancers were part of the entertainment, and most of the tunes were clearly meant for it; so I had to stay out of the way of the dancers, who at times were, well, in my way.  And some musicians (not the seated ones) also got into the act, moving to new positions and conformations as the music struck.  This all made a “dancer” out of me as I shifted position back and forth for viewing advantage, ever-mindful of keeping my distance from just about everybody.

Solo fiddler Boyd was most elusive, and it shows.   Six Feet Back Band seemed to have the most complexly composed arrangements, lots of reading off of music stands, structured harmonies.  Sølje Sisters violated the “Shave and a Haircut” norm by using it more than once for a song-ending.   Skandia Kapell offered more tunes in minor keys, plus they had a bunch of unison singing, whereas the other groups were strictly instrumental.  When asked about the minor-key emphasis, Johansson attributed it to being Finnish (although Viking nonetheless).  I guess having a border with Russia can do that.

Bill Boyd

The Wood Carver










Six Feet Back Band

Gregory Gdovicak

Jared MacFarlane








Lyn Jackson

Donna Luce

Nick Ericson









Lydia Louie


Sølje Sisters

Anita Paulsen

Sharon Farmer










Nancy Hiraoka

Joanna Elizondo










                           Skandia Kapell

Kristen Forster

Kris Johansson







James R Skrindi

Bjarne Jacobsen

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Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Market

Busking Seattle – Ballard Farmers Market

In olden days, each day of busking would get its own page.  In the sleek “I’m too busy!” 2020’s, why bother.  Yes it will make the annotations, etc. more convoluted.  Too bad.

My routine for Ballard Farmers Market (Sundays) is to walk down, sketch, shop, and then take the bus back up 24th Ave.  A separate page will detail the vendors.

Inner City Medicine Show – 21 November 2021: Is it just me, or just Seattle?  It seems the multi-person groups (and a good number of the soloists as well) busking in town have a “greatest hits of the 1930’s” sensibility.  Works for me!  ICMS fills the bill with skill.

Stetson Curtis

Curtis Parton










KB MuscleMouth


Corky Dragland – 21 November 2021: Dragland is an import from some unspecified British isle, and one of the oldest buskers that I’ve sketched.  There is some frailty to the guy, so we hope he sticks around a bit longer.  On the day of the sketch, the weather was damp and blustery, so, mindful of his health, he cut his set (and my sketch) short to pack up.

Corky Dragland


Emery Carl (undated):  Nothing like a harmonica holder to gum up the face portion of a portrait.

Emery Carl


Tony Mack – 13 February 2022:  Mack is one of the self-contained performers shlepping around a mini-PA to play the background tracks for his sax solos.  One of his tunes was “The Work Song”, a sax staple of my days in Total Crudd.  It came to me by way of Butterfield, but Mack correctly identified the antecedent, Cannonball Adderly (“Them Dirty Blues” album of 1960), composed by his brother, cornetist Nat Adderly.  For the memories and schooling I threw Mack $5 .  Me tipping a busker?  You heard it first here!

Tony Mack


Saxxadelic – 13 February 2022:  First of a series of artists whose real names we will never know.  He was not able to insert The Work Song into his free-form flow.



Banjo Dugg – 13 February 2022:

Banjo Dugg


Eric DeAngelo – 13 March 2022:  DeAngelo travels with his backing tracks playing on his shlepped mini-PA.  He knew few details about his Les Paul axe (year?).

Eric DeAngelo


Reedwarrior  “James” – 20 March 2022:  James is also deep into the 1930’s.  In addition to sax, he also does growly vocals vo-de-oh-doh style through the shortest of megaphones, constructed (or, destructed) from a modified paper coffee cup.  Set included “Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done)” from 1939; I rest my case.

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Busking NYC – February 2020

Busking NYC – February 2020

Orlando Sanchez Soto

Show-Time and Tyson Griffin

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Stefon Harris – January 27, 2020

Stefon Harris – January 27, 2020  –  Schomburg Center

  Harris is a holistic person, so why wouldn’t his instrument be the vibes, a term with meaning in multiple contexts!   So the music was the attraction accounting for my attendance of this presentation, but it was always in the context of historical understanding and advocacy for African Americanism.  Coming up, Harris served literally as apprentice to Bobby Hutcherson, hasn’t missed a trick, and is pretty much one of the go-to guys of his generation.  His association with drummer Gully goes back many years; Marc Cary, pianist for this gig was at the far end of the stage and could not be seen for a sketch.

Casey Benjamin


Stefon Harris








Terreon Gully

Luques Curtis



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Rachel Kara Perez – 15 December 2019

Rachel Kara Perez  –  Woolworth Chapel, Woodlawn Cemetery  – 15 December 2019

Perez offered a program of holiday tunes, backed by a string quartet.  Some were gleaned from her Hispanic background, and were unfamiliar; others were chestnuts (not roasting!); all reflected her solid classical training and personal warmth.  Concerts at Woodlawn usually include compositions from the interrees; today’s was “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (yes, Jewish!).  The emotive pinnacle was “O Holy Night”.  Charming string arrangement accents courtesy of violinist Petcher.

Rachel Kara Perez

Evelyn Petcher

Monica Davis

Eliana Mendoza

Sally Shumway

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