Fiddle Guitar Vocal duo the Summer Januaries– Sean Michael Robinson and Rachel Erin Robinson

A Summer January for the Summer Januaries

the Summer Januaries at the Uptown Art Expo 2013

Our wintering in Orlando has lasted about two months now – just enough time to acquire some interesting performance opportunities and to connect with a handful of awesome musicians.

This past weekend was packed full of performances of all different varieties. We kicked off the weekend with our regular gig at Hogan’s Irish Bar. Hogan’s is a new pub in Cape Canaveral, owned and run by a charming Irish family. They first invited us out to play in mid January, and we’ve been returning every weekend. We’re loving having a regular gig – getting to know the owners and regulars, tailoring our set to enhance the mood of the bar throughout the evening, and having an opportunity each week to perform new songs. Even though we’re playing indoors, with a P.A., it’s the closest thing to busking we’ve experienced since Italy.

Rachel Erin Sage of the Summer Januaries at the Uptown Art Expo 2013

Sunday morning we braved the very chilly weather, for a set at the Uptown Art Expo in Altamonte Springs. We had actually gotten this gig through our initial attempt to find places to busk in Orlando. When we first arrived we did some internet research, and found a wealth of information confirming, just as we had suspected, that it is in fact illegal to busk here. An article in the Orlando Sentinel made the consequences seem particularly steep, stating that “street performers who ask for money could be charged with a second degree misdemeanor possibly resulting in a maximum of a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.” Ugh. As jail time and exorbitant fines are not on our list of fun ways to spend our time and money, we started a search for other venues (festivals, farmer’s markets, etc.) that might allow busking. The booker at the Uptown Art Expo responded to our query about busking by explaining that it wouldn’t work for us to busk at the festival, as the live music from the main stage would be broadcast on speakers throughout the entire park, but that they would love to have us perform on stage instead. That sounded great to us. We enjoyed a sunny, though incredibly cold, set on a stage set right on the waterfront, and had a little time to chat with the audience, some of the art show vendors, and a few of the other musicians who would be performing later in the day, before running off to be in a video shoot for a secret musical project that we can’t divulge the details of quite yet (don’t worry—we’ll share when we’re able!)

While I find it sad and ridiculous that busking is illegal in Orlando, a little bit of field research has made it clear that we probably wouldn’t fit in very well playing on the streets here anyway. We headed downtown last weekend, just to check out the scene, see if we saw any buskers, etc… Read More