Perpetually puffing my chest out.
My name is Abby and I’m a spoon player. I’m not fancy, I’ve just learned to puff my chest out a bit. Through a series of miscellaneous circumstances, I have come to be known as the “Spoon Lady” and I’ve enjoyed the ride.
Playing music on the street creates opportunities for folks to experience things that they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t, such as a professional spoon player, a one-man band, a human statue, or other performances and genres of music outside of the everyday realm of the everyday person. Street performance teaches you to become a sharp people watcher. The reactions we receive are varied and entertaining. Children dancing, people of all ages and walks of life, artists and art lovers all gather around, creating a moment of community on the sidewalk. When the crowds on the street are full, it feels very similar to being wrapped in energy, protected in your own little world. I use the bells at my feet to “talk” to the crowd, and I love to make funny faces. I have the best job ever.
I fell into both street performance and spoon playing when I started backpacking around the United States. I became obsessed with folk rhythm and culture, and the stories surrounding the railroad tracks and hobo jungles. I lugged around notebooks of handwritten stories and random digital cameras. I hitchhiked and rode freight trains around all 48 of the main states, figuring it out as I went. Playing spoons seemed like the best way to fund myself around the country. Another traveler taught me how to hold the spoons and run them down my fingers, and I taught myself from there. Many folks remember me from street performing in Nashville, TN, as I used it as a hub while I traveled until the police started pushing off more street music in the years 2012/2013.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Eventually, I found myself in Asheville, NC, which to some would be no surprise. Asheville has always been a mecca for arts and culture. Street performing in Asheville is a special thing, and the street performance scene is massively rich in the downtown area. In 2014 the Asheville Buskers Collective was formed to help promote and keep street performance legal in the Asheville, North Carolina area. I was happy to be the acting President and honored to represent our busking culture to the government and public during the Busker’s Collective formation, up until the time I left in December of 2019.
Wanting to be closer to home and family, I have settled down in Winfield, Kansas. Winfield Kansas is home to the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival and the National Flatpicking Championship every September. It’s a small town, so when I’m not out and about playing shows and driving the little green school bus around the country, I ride my little tricycle with a basket in the back to get around.
I am currently working on a book of short stories, a short series of children’s books, and a video series about female hobos. Please stay tuned for more event announcements and project details as things unfold.