Beat From the Street (Mar. 1, 2016)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer. 

Adam Dalfino, 24, musician/busker, originally from Tampa, Florida
So how long have you been busking? 
“Three weeks. I’ve been playing guitar for 11 years straight and I just got done traveling the country in a hippie van.”
That’s awesome. What inspired you to travel the country? Was it just an impromptu decision?
Adam Dalfino busks frequently on the streets of Asheville. Photo by
Calla Hinton. 
“Music, playing music, seeing music festivals, looking at the world, adventuring, going to crazy places, meeting people, feeling, feeling the world, helping the Earth and then Asheville just felt like home, like it’s a good center point.”
Did you just move here?
“No, I’ve been in and out of here for four years.”
What was the craziest place you went to on your journey, and why?
“The Grand Canyon at sundown.”
At sundown?
“Yeah. The sky and the horizon line is pretty god-like.”
That’s a good way to phrase it. It seems like people who experience that have to put it in eternal terms, maybe.
“Yeah. Exactly, yeah.”
So if you were to say what inspires you artistically, musically, any sort of creative inspiration, what would you cite?
“That human love can be — there is no greater memory than human love.”
And how did you realize that?
“A lot of things. I can’t — I’m not — too many things.  But even in general, we should love each other because that’s what makes humans beautiful aside from our animalistic tendencies.”
And what is your personal motto? Is that your motto, would you say?
“My mind is the rudder, my heart is the sails and my heart is the ship.”
(Guy standing outside interjects): 
“Yeah, baby, yeah!”
That’s awesome. It’s very poetic.
“I have a song about that.”
What do you like to write songs about?
“Well, I’m a jazz guitarist too and I play jazz music where I don’t sing the words. A lot of times, it’s love songs to a girl that I like or an interesting perspective on a situation or a story of, like, something dramatic that happened that resolved itself, or a piece of grass, a raindrop or anything in between.
Anything philosophical or minute.
“Or big, or small, or just, like, dancing, or walking down the street, or on Valentine’s Day, ‘Slap her on the booty.’ I wrote a song called that. It’s pretty funny though. It was just a funny song. It wasn’t a serious song.”
(Same guy standing outside interjects): 
“It was a good thing.”
“It was a good thing. I think it was a good thing for Valentine’s Day. Instead of a love song, I wrote a fun song.”
(Same guy standing outside interjects): 
“Freaky fun.”
If you were to say one thing that you like about Asheville and one thing you dislike about Asheville, what would you say?
I don’t know. There’s nothing I don’t like about Asheville. The cops are pretty chill. I mean, I wish ganja was legal. That’d be cool.”
Yeah. You would think it would be by now.
“Yeah. That’s the only thing, I guess.”
This column was originally published in The Blue Banner