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Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?

SmokinBill 17 Mar 04 - 12:19 AM
LadyJean 17 Mar 04 - 12:41 AM
michaelr 17 Mar 04 - 01:34 AM
Shanghaiceltic 17 Mar 04 - 01:52 AM
Charley Noble 17 Mar 04 - 08:41 AM
Charley Noble 17 Mar 04 - 08:53 AM
Bobert 17 Mar 04 - 09:16 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Mar 04 - 05:46 PM
Leadfingers 17 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM
open mike 17 Mar 04 - 11:42 PM
SmokinBill 18 Mar 04 - 02:33 AM
open mike 18 Mar 04 - 05:41 AM
Midchuck 18 Mar 04 - 07:55 AM
SmokinBill 18 Mar 04 - 09:20 AM
Dani 18 Mar 04 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,sir roger at work 18 Mar 04 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Mary V. 18 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
Alaska Mike 18 Mar 04 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 18 Mar 04 - 04:47 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Mar 04 - 06:47 PM
InOBU 18 Mar 04 - 07:03 PM
Sunga 18 Mar 04 - 07:22 PM
open mike 18 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM
Gypsy 18 Mar 04 - 10:46 PM
SmokinBill 19 Mar 04 - 12:29 AM
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Subject: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: SmokinBill
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 12:19 AM

I'm going to be playing a some local farmers markets for the first time this spring and summer. They're open-air markets in small towns in upstate New York. Do any Mudcatters have any advice for this kind of situation? My main worries are: 1. That I will be drowned out by the sound of passing traffic, and 2. That the vendors might get sick of hearing the same material repeated (I'm going to be doing this weekly for most of the season). I'll be playing acoustic guitar and harmonica, perhaps a little banjo for variety.


Smokin' Bill's Digital Depot


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: LadyJean
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 12:41 AM

A bunch of musicians play on Pittsburgh's Strip District on nice days. They've found spots where the accoustics are good. I suppose there's a place like that at an indoor market too.
The vendors won't hear you after a while, unless you're truly bad, or incredibly good. But it might be just the place to try new tunes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:34 AM

Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?

Yeah -- don't bother. It's early in the morning (well, at my local it is); people are there to get their shopping out of the way before their day starts, and they're not likely to stick around to listen to you.

But if you do play, don't worry about the vendors getting bored. Their onions and cabbages don't get any more interesting during the course of the day, either.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:52 AM

And dont forget your wellies;

The Welly Boot Song
If it wasn't for your wellies where would you be
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didn't have your feet in your wellies

Oh wellies they are wonderful, oh wellies they are swell
'Cause they keep out the water and they keep in the smell
And when you're sitting in a room you can always tell
When some bugger takes off his wellies

If it wasn't for your wellies where would you be
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didn't have your feet in your wellies

Oh and when you're out walking in the country with a bird
And you're strolling over fields just like a farmer's herd
And somebody shouts, "Keep off the grass" and you think how absurd
and SQUELCH you find why farmers all wear wellies

If it wasn't for your wellies where would you be
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didn't have your feet in your wellies

There's fishermen and firemen, there's farmers and all
Men out digging ditches and working in the snow
This country it would grind to a halt and not a thing would grow
If it wasn't for the workers in their wellies

If it wasn't for your wellies where would you be
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didn't have you're feet in your wellies

Oh Edward Heath and Wilson they haven't made a hit
They're ruining this country more than just a bit
If they keep on the way they're going we'll all be in the (shhhhh)
So you'd better get your feet in your wellies

If it wasn't for your wellies where would you be
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
'Cause you would have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didn't have you're feet in your wellies


By Billy Connolly


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:41 AM

Billy-

Very nice! Seems to follow "If It Wasn't for the Work of the Weavers."

Yes, it does make sense to watch where you step at the rural farmer's market, and even an odd bananna peel or rotten tomato can do you in at the urban market.

I would recommend adding to your songs "Down at the Barnyard Dance (when the vegetables had their spree)."

If there are booths where people have snacks and drinks, it usually makes sense to hang out there rather than where people are actively shopping for vegetables.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:53 AM

Thanks, Shanghaiceltic! Looks like I'm posting too quickly...

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:16 AM

If yer gonna have amphilication then the repetition might get to some of the vendors but if not, then most of 'um won't pay you any mind so don't worry about it since the other folks will come and go... I've played in stores and that's purdy much the same...

BTW, I listened to yer 14 bar "Death Letter Blues" since I do it and it sounds purdy good. I don't mind the extra measures between yer verses. I play with an old black bluesguy, N.J. Warren, at the Archie Edwards Barber Shop who don't have no use fir 12 bar so ya' really gotta pay attention to know where the chord changes are gonna occur but it always sounds real good. He plays a lot of 6/4/4 and sometimes 8/4/4 dependin' on how much he's had to drink....

Have a ball. Wear a hat unless yer gonna be in the shade. Take water, ect...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 05:46 PM

People who like homegrown vegetables should like homegrown music, too. I bet they will. At least, you'll make more money than you would at a shopping mall.

I remember seeing a busker at the Pike Place Market in Seattle; he drew a pretty fair crowd, and he wasn't outstandingly talented. He irked me a bit by putting a sign on his guitar case: "Saving up for a hooker." It made my 8-year-old son ask, "What's a hooker?" Well, I wasn't about to explain it in the middle of a crowded public place, so we got the hell out of there, fast.

About busking in general: someone said once, "I've got to practice anyway. Why not practice in public and get paid for it?"

There are several threads on busking. The oldest one is Street Musicians, Buskers?. Start there and follow the links to others.

There is also a thread called food songs that you might check out if you want to learn any new ones.


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:07 PM

We have had a couple of seasons 'doing' farmers markets in Hampshire
UK, Being paid a small fee to provide a bit of entertainment for the
Stallholders as well as the shoppers. A good place to try out new material and a nice response from everybody there. DONT assume that no one is listening, cos a lot of em will be only too keen to have something to make some variety in the day.


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: open mike
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 11:42 PM

you might see if you can get a different spot
on different weeks, so you can be near different
booths..share the joy!
are you paid by the market, or will you be asking
for "donations?" YOu might check to see what the
protocal is...the management may have a "rule"
about it.

song suggeestions:
"the farmer is the one who feeds us all"
home grown tomato
oats peas beans and barley grow
hold on to that plow, hold on
to my old brown earth


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: SmokinBill
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 02:33 AM

Thanks for all the great tips. My next question was going to be "Can you suggest some farmer-friendly songs to play?" and several of you must have read my mind. The markets aren't going to pay me (I didn't ask), but I think I might leave my guitar case open for tips, just to complete the busking-style experience. The reason I want to play at farmers markets is that they happen in the daytime. I have a non-musical job in the evenings, which is unfortunate except for the fact that it pays the bills ...

I am familiar with "The Farmer is the Man" and "Gospel Plow" ... any other suggestions for farmy, foody, earthy songs?


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 05:41 AM

greg brown has a few...
canned goods,
walking the beans,
out in the country,

how about tupelo honey?
milk cow blues?
Rutabaga boogie?
if you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree?
lemon tree oh so pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet..


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Midchuck
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:55 AM

Take a rucksack. If the vendors like you, some of 'em are likely to tip you in spare produce rather than cash. They have more of the former. This is OK unless you don't eat anything but hamburgers.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: SmokinBill
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 09:20 AM

Yes, I have a feeling I might bring home a few free tomatoes. Nothing wrong with free tomatoes. Open Mike, thanks for the Greg Brown suggestion... "Canned Goods" is a great one. I might also try to do his song "Summer Evening."


Bill

Smokin' Bill's Digital Depot


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Dani
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 09:35 AM

I think it's a great idea. Our little market is a wonderful place, and when musicians have played there, it was as much for the leads on paying gigs and the exposure, as for the tips. So it depends on the market, if they (vendors and clientele) appreciate a more varied experience. My sister's in Trumansburg: I'll tell her to watch for you!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: GUEST,sir roger at work
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:13 AM

Not a tip but an appreciation of music at farmer's markets.

Last May, when visiting the States (we live in the UK), we called in at the farmer's market in Olympia (Olympic National Park, not far from Seattle). They have an open air food area with picnic tables out the back and there is a stage too. On stage was a guitar & mandolin duo.

We sat in the sunshine, eating lunch and enjoying the music - felt just like home.

R


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: GUEST,Mary V.
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM

Fun ...hand clapping songs is my idea. We play on the street at special events in our little town. People always stroll by and smile or clap and stop for a song to listen too. The farmers markets in our towns have a schedule for perfomers to volunteer ,and its fun to see others come with their instruments and join in.
The old stand bys....You are my sunshine......Long Journey Home
Will the circle.......Red River Valley....Let me call you sweetheart
and all the wonderful folk songs always add a nice touch.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 11:04 AM

Our farmer's market here in Anchorage has a place where the patrons can sit and eat food from the many vendors present. The small stage is tarped and the sound system is quite good. I perform there occasionally as my busy schedule permits during the summer months. And these venues always seem to fill up with friendly, appreciative audiences. I routinely sell quite a few CD's also. Farmer's markets are enjoyable and I would encourage any folk performer to give them a try.

Best wishes,
Mike


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 04:47 PM

Try Stay On the Farm . . . great song both in the 4/4 and 3/4 versions.


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:47 PM

Our local market has its own website! The St. Paul [Minnesota] Farmers' Market. (Come to think of it, I've never seen buskers there. I wonder why?)

And of course, the Pike Place Market in Seattle has a site.

And the US Dept of Agriculture has a page about farmers' markets, including a nationwide directory!


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: InOBU
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:03 PM

Here in New York City, I'd have to agree with Michael... Farmer's Markets aren't great venues. Subways are the best, downside, very competitive for good spots and it does huge damage to your hearing, Parks... some good some bad, have to find the right place, one place in Central Park is a real money maker for me, others really suck. I can play all day at the Union Sq. farmers market, get lots of people stoping to listen, NO one giving a ha'penny. Not sure why, but I have never seen a busker make money at a farmer's market in New York City. It may be better out in the country, hope so, best of luck.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Sunga
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:22 PM

Just played our local Farmers Market for the first time last Saturday. They pay a tiny bit and we made some tips. We were amplified and the vendors were all very complimentary (tips included, bread and other baked goods, and handmade soap!). It's pretty quiet at our little market this time of year, but we had a great time. A nice opportunity to have a no-pressure performance, especially since we are new as a group. It certainly was a more pleasant atmosphere than the bar we played at last night. 8-o

Slainte,
Sunga


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: open mike
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM

i have been at the St. Paul farmer's mkt.!
there WAS music there--south american...
with chimi changos...i mean charrangos..
the musicians were right in the middle.
Also quite a few Hmong booths with yard-long
beans, lemon grass and basil, etc. I heard a
radio spot the other day about more Hmong
people re-locating in your area...the mayor
was in Thailand visiting their refugee camps.
So i guess there will soon be more lemon grass,
strawberries, and millet soon! and embroidered
fabric and stuffed lizards and snakes made from
shiny material!


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: Gypsy
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 10:46 PM

As the manager of a farmers market............check with the manager before lugging in an amplifier...........they don't really fit the scene in our county, anyway. Be consistent, and dress the part. Most managers strive to have high quality produce, so the musicians should follow suit. I'm talkin' basics: jeans are fine, if clean with no holes. Wear a shirt. brush your hair (or polish your head) Show up on time, and PLAY. Particularly if the market is putting you into the advertising budget, give them good worth. Have your business cards with you, as well as paper and a writing utensil. Assume that you will need to bring something to sit on, and your own shade. Not everyone will have a market umbrella for your instruments.
Have fun! Markets are a great way to learn how to perform.....its how we learned!


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Subject: RE: Tips for playing at farmers markets etc?
From: SmokinBill
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:29 AM

I am planning to play unplugged unless the sound of nearby traffic totally drowns me out. Thanks again for all the great advice, folks. We just had another snowstorm here in upstate New York, so it looks like I'll have to wait a few more weeks before the markets open up...

Smokin' Bill


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