Step by step by step- they can’t be stopped! The Walking Guys, four musicians who are touring from Maine to Tennessee on foot, have now walked 170 miles and have many more to go. Their favorite city so far? Newport, Rhode Island! The Walking Guys’ experience here was full of ups, downs, generosity and new friends.
The guys show up in Newport with little hope and a lot of disappointment. Their gigs and their place to stay had fallen through. They had no contacts. There was no place to camp. All the campgrounds were full. The folk festival they were dying to attend was totally sold out.
By the end of their stay in Newport, they will have played two gigs, attended all three days of the festival for free and found lodging with a new friend that ended up becoming like a mom to them.
Rewind to their first day in Newport. Picture four sad musicians pushing their huge “mom carts” through the streets of Newport. The guys notice a lady walking ahead of them who keeps glancing at them over her shoulder. They were pretty used to this; pushing around carts tends to get a lot of glances. As they pass her, she stops and asks what they are doing. Within 30 minutes, they were unloading their stuff at her house. They found their newest host! Problem number one: solved.
Still without any gigs, the guys took to playing on the street. While playing, complete strangers offered them all tickets to the sold-out folk festival.
While walking back from the festival, the guys ran into a storefront with live music and decide to stop in. The owner of the store offered them free beer, insisting that they tip the artist instead of paying for the drinks. After talking with the owner for a while, he agreed to let them play there the next night! “If you keep the show peppy, I’ll keep the beer flowing.”
But here isn’t where their adventure in Newport ended. After their show, the guys met a videographer from South Africa. He left his job and home in South Africa to pursue his dreams- sound familiar? He instantly connected with the guys and wanted to shoot a video shoot for them. Stay tuned for their feature on his video blog! They’ll be playing some tunes in historic Fort Adams!
“There have been several nights that we go to sleep and just hope and pray we wake up alive the next morning,” said Benjamin Butler. “But we always make it!” However, out of 28 days on the road, the guys have only had to camp for four nights due to the hospitality of others.
This past month has been their lightest month walking, due to the close proximity of where they’ve traveled and playing several gigs per city. Months three and four will entail more intense walking, as they will be traveling through more rural areas.
Currently, the guys have just returned from a brief break apart (do you think they’re tired of each other yet?), with Chris and Benjamin playing at a festival in Wisconsin, Riley attending his cousin’s wedding, and Will visiting his wife in Nashville. They were happy to be reunited in New York City to continue their walking journey and are now gearing up for the Philly Folk Fest.