Music Friday …On the Cheap

Most of the music I have listened to over the years has been performed by talented musicians toiling in relative obscurity because they wanted to stay true to their roots and passions. At the end of the day, bands and performers who dwell on the edges of success have to keep expenses down. The music business, like any business comes down to the fundamentals of revenues against expenses and the less mouths to feed the better. So if you are really going stretch a dollar, you do it in one of two ways: Have muli-instrumentalists in the band, or go it alone. Here are two examples of minimalist acts. One man band Jesse Fuller playing San Francisco Bay Blues on guitar, accompanying himself with harmonica, kazoo, and fotdella, an instrument he designed and built himself for percussion and bass. Below, Ron Thomason demonstrates the art on hamboning, first developed in the deep South by dirt poor sharecroppers who couldn’t afford instruments and later used in minstrel acts. It is use of the body as percussion.