Beat from the street (Nov. 11, 2017)

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.

Poor Boy Krill, 24, musician, originally from New York

What inspires you creatively, would you say?
“I say the people I meet inspire me.”

So, how would you describe yourself in three words?
“I would say I’m a serious, radical, fun-loving guy.”

Those are all good.
“I take my freedom very seriously and I guess I would say freedom is one word that’s definitely there. I’d say I’m creative and I think that I can only be free as long as I’m being creative. I guess the third word would have to be disciplined. I try to discipline myself. Living out here on the streets, you have to have discipline.”

“Or else, you know, you get lost.”

That’s a good point. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the streets, would you say?
“I don’t know if you’re really ready to hear all that.”

Oh yeah.
“Oh, I don’t know, man, like crazy shit? Like good crazy, bad crazy? I got picked up hitchhiking and I went whitewater rafting. That was recently.”

“Yeah, he took me whitewater rafting for free and everything. He paid for me. It was great, right down on the French Broad. It was awesome.”

That’s cool.
“No doubt.”

Do you have a life motto that you live by on a daily basis?
“Yeah, I would say the three things that I’m here on Earth doing is spreading love, leaving a mark and transcending, whether it’s this conversation or a song about it or, you know, a certain mood I’m in. Yeah. But I think that’s just the inevitable. I can’t help but do that. That’s the victim of DNA that I am. I wanna try to spread love and leave a mark here and transcend. I feel like, even if I was an abortion, I would’ve left a mark on somebody.”

Yeah, you would still be a thought or a memory.
“Somebody’s lucky dime. This place is cool, man. It’s changed my life already. I’ve only been here for five days.”

Wow. What brought you here?
“Music. I was recording an album in Brooklyn and during that time, my best friend died of a heroin overdose. He was like my brother, my brother and my best friend. You know, just being in New York was getting old and the city exhausts you and you make a lot of money. I mean, I was making like, $700, $800 a week just busking, you know? Then, I was getting $300 gigs and stuff like that. So, I do miss that, like the easy money and just chilling, but I definitely needed some time in a slower part of the world.”

“And also, the musicians here, there’s not as many of them and all of them are good, most of them. I’m looking to start a band here. I’m looking to make some friends. I’ve really enjoyed everybody that I’ve met in Asheville but I’ve yet to make any bonds, you know? Coming back here is very important to me, so I’m trying to have people to come back to when I leave, you know?”     

Yeah, yeah, for sure.
“Because I definitely feel like home here and I would just like it to be more of a home base as far as connections go.”

That’s awesome. So, who would you describe your musical influences as being?
“Mostly old, old black dudes. I guess like in middle school and high school I liked psychedelic rock and stuff. But I would say Blind Willie McTell, Peg Leg Howell, Big Bill Broonzy, Jelly Roll Morton, you know, like all the greats.”

Blind Boy Fuller?
“Yeah, Blind Boy Fuller, you know, I listen to all that stuff. I’ve been listening to all that stuff since I got my heart broken the first time.”

Yeah, blues are good to help with that.
“You know, it helped me out, as weird as it sounds. Real sad music helped me out of depression. It was like, ‘Wow, I’m real sad, too. I should sing this shit.’”

You channeled it in a productive way.
“Yeah and now I sing sad songs with a smile on my face or whatever.”

So if you were to describe in particular one thing that comes to mind when you hear, ‘What do you like about Asheville and what do you dislike about Asheville so far?’ what would you say?
“I guess it’s one and the same for me. I love travelers, right? But I also hate travelers. So, I guess, travelers are cool unless they’re not. The music is amazing. The beer is cheap and good. I mean, it’s kind of like a perfect place for somebody like me. Also, it’s like New Orleans, but it’s mellow and you don’t have to deal with as much violence, drunken people. The home bums are a little bit much sometimes, but, you know, everybody needs help and shit, one way or another, everybody needs to be given that time of day to talk to.”

Mikey the Fiddler Man, musician, originally from Madison County

What inspires you creatively, would you say?
“A little bit of everything.”

That’s good, yeah, kind of like a combination, like a patchwork of things.
“Oh well, yeah, there’s all kinds of things that are very conducive to inspiration. You never know what’s going to hit you.”

Yeah, that’s very true. That’s very true. So what’s one thing you like about Asheville and dislike about Asheville?
“I like Asheville. Asheville’s a friendly town. It’s got the most beautiful women in the world. It’s a small town but it’s got a big town feel, all that stuff that you’ve heard from everybody else.”

Yeah. That’s true. That’s true.
“Anything goes, tolerant town.”

Yeah, yeah, it definitely is. It’s very tolerant and chill. So if you were to describe your life motto, if you have one, what would you say it would be?
“Git ‘er done.”

The original version of these interviews was published in The Blue Banner