If you've played music for very long at all, you've probably set up shop in a park or public space somewhere and serenaded the passers by. Busking is a tradition as old as music itself. It's fun, scary, enlightening and surprisingly rewarding - IF you can embrace the impromptu nature of pleine aire performance.
It's amazing the spectrum of talent you'll encounter out there - from world-class (Joshua Bell in disguise playing in a NY subway) to gawd-awful (the Dunning-Kruger effect in action) - but we should tip our caps to anyone brave enough to throw down in public. Playing on a stage, at an event, or even in a poorly defined corner of a coffee house gives the performer an illusion of security and safety that is nowhere to be found out on the street.
I try to toss buck or two in the tip jar of any busker I come across, good or bad, because it's a hard thing to do putting yourself out there for the world to hear.
Please enjoy this recording of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor playing Joni's song "FOR FREE"