For our latest album, we decided to get away from uploading our friends or the performers we’d heard about, and instead ask the internet – “who are your favourite street musicians”? The floodgates opened, and we were awash with amazing talent to choose from. The below, then, are all audience favourites, and for good reason! Oh, and we also managed to get one of the most filmed buskers in the world on this album: Juzzie Smith!
Track 1: Piano Girl Track 2: A Busker’s Ballad
Some people you watch and you just think “that guy’s too nice to be a street performer”. Then you remember the world isn’t, in fact, a rough and unwelcoming place, and that even people who look as unthreatening as Matthew Dames could make a living performing on the streets.
Matthew is a seasoned performer who migrated to Tasmania, Australia from Cambridge, UK. He busks frequently at Salamanca Market and Farm Gate Market in Hobart. His Contemporary Folk style is warm and sensitive, drawing influence from Passenger, Luka Bloom and Dougie Maclean. Matthew’s original debut album Cold Stars was released in December 2013.
His latest album Walk with Me was released in December 2015. Matthew has performed at the Illawarra Folk Festival, National Folk Festival and the Falls Music and Arts Festival, as well as the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.
Track 3: Tumbleweed Track 4: Jack and the Bean Stalk
Adam is not your everyday acoustic player, using a technique called “Lap Tapping”; he rests the guitar on his lap and powerfully taps the frets and strings to create a captivating cacophony – a style he was forced to learn after a small accident fractured one of Adam’s fingers.
We filmed Adam at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2011. You get bonus points if you can read what’s written on his top in the video above (it’s not his best fashion choice, but it’s kinda funny). Adam’s a principled, dedicated performer who’s been one of our favourites for the last five years. At the moment Adam’s on the next stage of his journey, having brought his style of street performance to Dubai.
A guy from Amsterdam contacted us, saying he was looking for a performer to stand on Skinny Bridge in the cold, on the 23rd of December, and play some songs. The guy would turn up with his girlfriend, the busker would play some special songs, and the guy would get on one knee and ask his girlfriend to marry him.
Who did we hire? Capti Rando, of course. He’s a sweet guy, a great voice, a very romantic singer, an inspirational thinker and the perfect man for the job. Just listen to his bio:
“Capti Rando is a person who has always been spending time on music, but for a long time he was unaware of how fast he could learn by really wanting something, and that every challenge can be made fun by throwing the idea of impossibilities overboard. After working in different fields of the music industry, Capti decided to shift his focus: to work primarily on spreading his own message through his unique performances.”
I don’t really know if I need to do more than just direct you towards the video above. I mean, Juzzie Smith literally juggles instruments. Not figuratively, not “he’s so quick it’s like he’s juggling”, but “actually, holy moly, he’s actually juggling to create that music”. Ridiculously talented. And ridiculously popular: There are twenty one THOUSAND nine hundred videos of “Juzzie Smith” on Youtube. Insane.
Juzzie Smith is a walking, talking, singing example of how it pays to follow your heart, one of those truly creative souls who makes a living out of doing something he absolutely loves. As a young father, tired of late nights on the pub circuit, Juzzie made a conscious decision to leave the pubs and take his music to the people and the streets.
So he took up busking, mostly at local markets on the NSW north coast, drawing bigger and more enthusiastic crowds each time he played. In this way Juzzie created a reputation for himself, becoming a true grassroots phenomenon. He is now also a festival circuit favorite, loved for his energetic and awe-inspiring live performances. If you get a chance to see Juzzie Smith performing near you, do it!
Epic folk rock guitarist originally from Canada, now travelling the world in the pursuit of his art form and great dreams, I first met Matthew Lennox at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and was immediately captivated by his music (yes, I bought a CD).
The album was Do It For Love, an amalgamation of songs written while travelling around the world – from Canada to Australia to Europe. Mixing his signature tap and flamenco style guitar with his new found love for beatboxing, special effects and looping, Do It For Love is a world-music album not to be missed.