Thursdays in April, 2014
In the tradition of Blind Willie McTell, buskers return to Peachtree Street
Atlanta has 71 streets named Peachtree, but none named McTell. Yet for three decades the iconic Blues musician Blind Willie McTell lived right here, playing his twelve string guitar on the street corners of the Gate City, navigating by earsight, crafting sounds and songs that became legend. He earned his living as a busker. He died strumming under a tree outside a barbecue stand. His life was emblematic of the vibrant street performance culture that once thrived in Atlanta. Though their echoes remain (best heard near the fine jazz bar named Blind Willie’s), the blues shouters, old time fiddlers, and pavement preachers have mostly ceded the streets. Until now.
Flux Projects resets their spiritual descendants into the context Willie and his peers knew best: performers capable of stopping you in your tracks, pulling you out of the everyday, and reinventing an ephemeral legacy. The city is transformed by 21st century buskers from a place where no street honors McTell into one where every street does. Pass the hat. Spread the word. Stop and listen.
The heirs of Blind Willie McTell are reclaiming their birthright: Tommy Bottoms, Callejero Flamenco, Che’Zee, Free Poems on Demand, Jon Goode, Shyla Hardwick, Ayo Heath, The Imperial OPA Circus, Okorie Johnson, Jamel Latimore, Mr. E. Worldwide, Allen Peterson, and Unknown Lyric.