Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Man and His Horn

Savannah busker, James Rinalducci, texted me the other day and let me know he was gonna be passing through Atlanta on his One Man and His Horn tour, and asked if I had any recommendations on places he could play in town. I threw out a few for him and told him to give me a call once in town. He wanted to grab a beer once here so we ended up at Unplugged in the Park at Park Tavern drinking beer and catching up before he went out to play for the night.

The view from Park Tavern as we were leaving the other night. I took this with my iPhone.  The camera in a iPhone 4 is pretty great. 

So I ended up taking him to Centennial Olympic Park downtown. I thought it would have the most people at that time of night on a Sunday, and that it would be just a good busking type atmosphere all together. Centennial Olympic Park is a pretty great place to just go and chill to begin with, but it was even better hearing him play in the background. Buskers just have a way of giving atmosphere and charm to places (as long as they play / sound okay).

James busking at Centennial Olympic Park. Took this one with my iPhone too.

Street artist / musicians really don't get enough credit or appreciation for what they do. These people get out and share their art, their passion, with those that are passing by with no guarantee of anything. There's no guarantee that their audience will even attempt to appreciate what they are trying to share with them. They perform for a minuscule amount in tips at times and sometimes get shooed away by police officers. Sidewalk chalk artist have their work washed away the first time it rains, or even destroyed when some disrespectful teenager decides to ride his bike right over the top of it, hitting the brakes and sliding (yes I have seen this happen) while the artist was still working on it.

My point is that people like James make the world a better place by doing what they do, so be generous next time you see a street performer that is doing something that you like from a audible or visual standpoint. That five or ten dollar bill in your pocket might make their day -- it might very well feed them for the day. 

Anyway, it was great to hang with James while he was in town. He was traveling and had played in 12 cities in the Southeast in two weeks -- sleeping in his car almost the whole time. The guy is super polite and is very appreciative of any kind of kindness that is thrown his way. So I invited him to crash at my place for the night, fed him, and let him get a shower before he made his way back to Savannah yesterday afternoon. But not before I took these available light portraits of him at my place real quick before he left:

James is one interesting looking dude.  My brother mentioned that he  resembles Tommy Lee from Motley Crue. I agree, he does. He also looks to me like he could be the guy that comes to break both your knee caps for a bookie that you owe money too. He also looks like he would have given Rocky Balboa a beat down in all five of the Rocky movies.

Annnnd the much more easy going look for James. This shot represents  his personality the best.

My favorite of what I took of him yesterday. To somebody that knows him it's not the best as a portrait, but to any stranger it would stand out most strictly from a photographic standpoint. 

So yeah, I very much respect what James is doing. He decided to give up what most people would consider to be a normal life to pursue his dream of being a musician. That is the way of the artist though. His "One Man and His Horn" tour has got me to thinking about doing something similar with my camera. Just traveling around to different cities and doing street portraits of people I find interesting. That's my favorite type of portraiture. That is, after all, how I met James in Savannah to begin with

"Creative Work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It's a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got." 

-- Steven Pressfield in The War of Art

Keep on giving James. Cheers to you man.


1 comment:

Diana Lee said...

Fantastic write! James and his music have been an inspiration to many pieces of my own writing. He's one in a million :) Love your photography as well.