Asheville, the largest city in western North Carolina, is renowned for being a city rich in different forms of art and culture.
The streets are adorned with art deco architecture, numerous theatres and museums—and last but definitely not least, there are plenty of musicians.
This band has a fiddle, a banjo, a bass… and a pair of spoons?
That’s right—even if it sounds unusual, the final results sound amazing and add a nice rhythmic element to their performance.
They call themselves The Flat Pennies, a busking band that performs in the vibrant streets of Asheville, North Carolina.
The girl bearing the fiddle starts off, the melodies flowing freely which reminds me of The Corrs’ “Toss The Feathers.” The banjo woman steps in a hushed tone, though it’s somewhat indistinguishable because of the low volume of her instrument.
After that, the spoon lady uses her pair of utensils like a pair of castanets.
She dances with her hands delicately, hitting the spoons with the palm of her hands, fingers and knees in synchrony with her foot-stomping the ground from time to time. Last up is the performer in charge of the bass, who keeps a deep and calming sound that harmonizes with the rest. Everyone plays their instruments well, and they sound even better amazing!
Anyone would look twice seeing this ensemble of musicians—or maybe they’d stop in their tracks hearing the sweet notes floating in the air like honey to their ears.
The tune prompts a distinct memory of an abundant harvest in summer, of an Irish village where you are greeted with warm smiles, a countryside filled with amity and candor. Once life returns to normal, we can’t wait to see plenty of street performances just like this one.
Another factor that will pique the crowd’s interest is the uniqueness of using a pair of spoons.
Although spoons are mostly used as cutlery, they have a history of being played in bands like this one.
Meet the Spoon Lady of Asheville.
She is considered one of the best-known street performers in recent times.
Dubbed the Spoon Lady, Abby Roach is a percussionist, spoon player and American storyteller.
After she learned how to play the spoons, Abby began her career performing country-style and folk songs in Nashville.
When she settled in Asheville in 2013, she met the band man, Chris Rodrigues, who has been her musical partner since then.
They rose to fame in 2017 after the video of their song “Angels in Heaven” went viral on Facebook and other social networks. Abby is currently one of the most respected activists in the music field for her work with the Buskers Collective in Asheville.
Throughout their performance, Abby steps twice on the bell with her foot to express her attitude for the people’s generosity towards them and their appreciation for their music.
Despite this, she never missed a beat and the rhythm goes on, their performance ended in a round of applause. If you’re a fan of this performance, be sure to look her and her band up for other performances online! If you never knew before, Asheville and Appalachia in general have a rich musical tradition—even if it does include a few instruments that we’re not used to hearing.
Watch the full performance by clicking on the link below:
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