Busking’s unique social dynamic suits Matthew “Harmonica Matt” Griffiths, a harmonica-playing blues man. Wearing a black leather jacket with missing buttons and a crumpled black fedora, Griffiths perches on a low stool and holds an old, round microphone. A few self-recorded CDs are sprawled on the ground next to his amp. At his waist, Griffiths has a big black belt containing nearly a dozen harmonicas, each of which he has labelled with a letter indicating its key. Sometimes he taps his foot loudly to keep the beat of the song pushing forward.
Between songs, Griffiths describes getting into a knife fight, being kicked out of a hospital, and losing everything but his passport during a trip to New Orleans several years ago. Suddenly, he stares off into space and doesn’t say a word for more than a minute.
“Are you all right?” I ask. No response.
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