In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the folk artist, EllaHarp, shares one of her stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
Earlier this year, I was in Toronto showcasing at Canadian Music Week. Showcasers get into the conference part free, and I turned up on day one with my harp because of time constraints for a gig later. It’s small for a harp but big for a bag you’d want to bring with you anywhere so I’m feeling pretty silly.
The first masterclass of the day was a song dissection workshop with Linda Perry. Attendees were supposed to send music in weeks beforehand, she’d pick a few and go over them. Bummed I missed the memo, I hunkered down for some interesting insight on other people’s content. A few songs went by.
Someone in the front row had a small guitar. She asked him if it was a banjo, and he said no. She said ‘well that’s too bad, if it had been a banjo I would have given you $100’. As it happens, I play the harp and the banjo and had just gotten a very small 5 string that fits neatly inside my harp case. At this point, I have both a harp and a banjo and now I’m listening.
She lets a small guitar guy play a song on stage then asks if anyone else in the room has an instrument and wants to play. Of the 400 or so people, probably 30 mild-mannered hands are raised, and one person jumping around waving wildly while shouting ‘pick me pick me!’
Eventually, I’m obnoxious enough they acquiesce and let ‘dancing chick’ come up. I go on stage with the harp and banjo, play one of my songs, she gives me $100 (?!) because of the banjo and I go sit down. Needless to say, I now drag my pain in the ass instruments to these conference-type things with spring in step. Sometimes it literally pays!