Good Guy, busker & more! (video 2:18)

Good Guy, busker & more! (video 2:18)
Good Guy, busker & more! (video 2:18)
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Harry3“He’s really the last of the good guys.” That’s local musician Gayle McGehee’s wry observation of Harry Gore busking during last Sunday’s Monument Ave Easter Parade. Gayle’s right on two accounts: Harry was a founding member of seminal RVA band The Good Guys (as well as the Measles) and he has to be one of the mellowest musicians on the Richmond scene. His smile is pretty much his trademark.

 

Besides playing solo, Harry’s in several bands, including the Hullabaloos (60’s and Brit), the New Misty Centrals (theme-oriented shows) and, ironically, the Big Guys – a band that covers a lot of old Good Guys material. “I’m in my own tribute band!” laughs Harry.

 

When asked about his influences he quickly responds, “Do you have a few hours?” A very versatile guitarist, who likes to add a little tone pedal distortion, he calls himself a “rock and roll troubadour.” Harry’s sets stretch from the Beatles, Stones and Chuck Berry to Frank Sinatra (picked up during his Top 40 radio oriented youth).

 

 

 

buskingThe early 70’s saw a spiritual change for Harry, “I was saved.” His religion isn’t overt in his music (the Tshirt & Christ sticker on his guitar notwithstanding). He was influenced by Larry Norman, the founder of Christian rock according to Harry. “He was like Dylan, but from a Christian perspective…with commentary on daily life.” Accordingly, Harry chooses songs that convey his own positive, gentle outlook.

 

About being a busker, he says there’s very definitely a “busker’s etiquette” that applies to both the musician and the audience. “I try not to be too loud or obnoxious.” On the flip side, audiences should show some respect too. At the parade an apparently clueless guy walked up to make a request just as Harry was starting a song. “It’s like I was a radio or something.” Requests are always cool, but good timing is the rule.

 

Other than the Easter parade (20 years or so), the likeliest place to catch Harry performing solo is Carytown and the malls in Charlottesville. “It’s an adventure!” The next time you see Harry, or any other busker, don’t shy away from the donation bucket. It’s the original crowd funded music.

 

Watch Video

 

On the horizon:

 

Avers will play Strange Matter 4/16. National music publications pegged this RVA band as one of the standouts at last month’s SXSW festival last month.

 

Local RVA jazz favorite Desiree Roots will play the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Friday, 5/1. Beer/wine/beverages and catered dinner will be available at the show.

 

The River City Blues Society’s Parkfest will be 5/9 at Pocahontas State Park. The lineup includes JP Soars and the Red Hots, the Debbie Davies Band, Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos, the Jon Spear Band, and In Layman Terms.

 

3 Comments

  1. Great Profile Billy, really enjoyed the read.

  2. Harry is the real deal. I admire his music as well as his committed faith.

  3. Thanks for the nice comments.

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