It has been a bit and for that I'm sorry.
The week before we left for tour was quite a wonderful time and a near perfect icing on a beautiful summer cake. I had a strange opportunity to play with two different street musicians within days of each other. I was leaving work and about to head home when I see some friends walking on Main St. they tell me they are "walking the beat" and I join them and we head down to the river and have an adventure and are heading back when we see a man setting up all sorts of crazy percussion gear. Conversational Ben asks him when he is going to play and he says he'll start in a bit after people start leaving the Reds game. We end up talking with him for close to an hour about music, performing on the street vs. in clubs, touring, practicing, family and a whole host of other things. He said he felt obligated to play for us since we were musicians so he calls his son over from the van and they soon get into absolutely shredding every piece of percussion they have and then do the same to all our minds. His name was Woody and he had dreads all the way down his back and wore sunglasses and his son looked pretty similar. He gave us some simple lessons and then asked me to play with him and we had a good time jammin on the street. He was playing in three different time signatures at once so I was not certain I was with him the entire time but he seemed pleased and smiled and we all hugged and said we could play with him anytime. A few days later I was at Findlay with some friends and started talking with Darren who plays there regularly on the weekend. He hawks blues and the current deals at the produce stand and exhorts shoppers to buy fruit there instead of Kroger telling them that they will be "unhappy". But of course all that is set to a blues vamp and he has the voice of a true soul troubador so me typing it out doesn't do it justice. But we got the talking and before I knew it he was telling me why I better be up to practice before sitting in with some real "jazz cats" and then he was handing me his guitar and I was totally rocking out at the market and he was shredding harmonica with me. Both experiences made me think about what it means to be a musician and play for other people.
I actually found a short documentary about Woody on youtube. I highly encourage everyone to watch it.