“Help me name this next piece. It’s new.”

A crowd of 100 people.

I call out “Help me name this next piece. It’s new.”

A women walks up to me after the music is over and says

“I don’t know if I have a name for you but I do have a story. My son, who is 4 years old, is very shy. Because of this he has trouble around people. But just now, when you played that song, he danced. In front of all these people.”

Her son’s name is August.

Here it is folks. August the live music video. Enjoy!

Local Music Economy

Love Asheville Go Local

Love Asheville! Go Local! This poster is from the Asheville Grown Business Alliance. Although the poster represents a specific program in Asheville, the theory behind it resonates very well. Grow Asheville’s Local Character and Inspire Entrepreneurship. Encourage Local Decision-Making. Focus on Collaboration and Healthy Competition. Keep Dollars in Asheville’s Local Economy Resulting in More Jobs and Increased Wages.

To All My Dear Friends recently used the support of downtown Asheville to raise funds for the new album Bloom. Marc Hennessey on violin. Josh Newton on drum. Together this duo hit the streets over the last year and raised the necessary funds to complete Bloom, dollar by dollar. Similar to what Amanda Palmer suggested in her famous Ted Talk “The Art of Asking”, they decided to ask for help. The response was phenomenal!

Asheville locals and tourists alike have offered their support, through dollars tossed into a tip jar or even just a few motivational words like “Keep doing what you’re doing!” Josh and Marc know how fortunate they are in what is such a vibrant artistic economy. Because of this, they actively try to give back to the community with a percentage of what is earned. It’s like a form of tithing. Tip your fellow street musicians. Maybe help someone in need who lives on the street. This is something that To All My Dear Friends will continue to do, even when they go beyond the local music scene to tour other parts of the world.

As a way to “put your $ where your ♥ is,” To All My Dear Friends is donating an entire days income from the streets to local organization Asheville Music Professionals. AMP is a new organization formed this summer that aims to provide education, advocacy, connection and collaboration for the people who work and thrive with music in Asheville. It’s peak tourist season in Asheville, with the leaves changing color along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and this means opportunity for any street performer downtown. Josh and Marc had no idea what the number would be when they decided to donate a day’s income from performing. But Universe said “If you’re going to do this then I’m going to make the message clear.” Josh and Marc performed throughout the day on Sunday October 19th, knowing that they would be donating all the money received. The grand total came to a whopping $333 on the dot!! It’s mysterious how life flows, yet the message couldn’t be more clear with such a energetically significant number.

Thank you AMP for all you have done and will do for the local music economy in Asheville. Thank you to every person that helped make this donation possible. As To All My Dear Friends continues to grow, we hope to always give back to the communities that weave throughout our existence.

Read more about Asheville Music Professionals on their Facebook page.