The guys, that play music for cash in public places generally fall into two categories. Skilled and hardly at all. The competent players want money just as much as the duds but they seem genuinely involved with the music they play and don’t seem to mind playing even when pickings are slim. The duds toot and strum loudly, holding a recognizable instrument, but the sounds they make are used primarily as an attention-getting device as if to say, here I am, pay me.
The man pictured above wasn’t that easy to classify. He certainly needed a shave and his right eye showed the sign of somebody’s fist but, he had clean fingernails and his clothes were worn but clean. As for his musical skills they were passable, just, but he was singing in a place that was pretty far off the beaten path which makes me think he was new to his gig or didn’t much care whether he made any money.
He spoke almost in a whisper when I asked him if I could take his picture. “Sure, if that’s what you want, be my guest.”
When I took out a dollar to give him I noticed he didn’t even have a place where I could put it. There was a story there but, I was late and moved on.