The Hoedown Throwdown Showdown

After a relatively crappy day, I got off the subway, and there’s a couple of buskers playing a fiddle and a banjo at the station. And they’re really going at it, playing the hell out of those things, and I can’t figure out why ’til I get up close. The answer turns out to be that a couple of local b-boys have decided that it’s time to throw down, to the tune of these guys playing some good old-time country fiddlin’ and pickin’.

And man, did that cheer me up.

So I did what any sane person would do in that situation, and recorded a video. I feel bad that I broke one of the lesser rules I’m going to be pushing at my presentation later this month, but I’m glad I saved the moment for posterity, and for you.


  1. Aven
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    That not only made my day, but my week, month, year. A world that has that in it can’t be all bad. Thanks, Mike!

  2. Wilson
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    What’s the rule?

    (I can’t make it to Seneca College for the Symposium, and you’ve piqued my curiosity!)

    I’m glad you saved the moment, too! Thank you!

  3. Posted October 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this! I love spontaneous fun and creativity. Little things that make the world a better place. (Came here via Uncertain Principles.)

  4. Posted October 10, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I liked how they said “Thank You” when they were done. What a great world.

  5. mhoye
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    So, the piece of advice that I am going to give my audience, that I choked on here, was “hold your shot longer than you think you have to.” Because when they stopped and said “thank you”, the whole subway started applauding.

  6. brian
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Curious! What kind of video capture device did you have on hand? That looks like it’s as good as or better than Youtube can handle. That’s not off a phone is it???

  7. mhoye
    Posted October 10, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s a Nikon p5100, shooting 640×480. Fantastic little point-and-shoot, and I don’t leave the house without it.

    Precisely because of stuff like this, in fact.

  8. Posted October 10, 2008 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    That is just a wonderful video! What fun! Thanks.

  9. Marguerite
    Posted October 11, 2008 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    a thousand thankyous, more like 700 billion. you just bailed me out!

  10. Brendan
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Lots of fun! For what it’s worth, the first tune in their medley is titled “Little Billy Wilson”, and the second tune is “Blind Steer In A Mudhole”.

  11. vernica
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    What a joy to find this video at the end of my day. I’ll save it for be beginning of tomorrow, too. Makes one believe all humankind should meet in an underground and get to know one another through music, we could ya know!

  12. Bella
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s true… a lifetime that has commutes that end with THAT must still have beauty in it.

    thank you

  13. Ola Dugar
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    This is what life is about. Two cultures/genres/anything combining to make something wonderful.

  14. bill hardy
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    we CAN all get along !!!!!

  15. Eddie Young
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    The Banjo and Fiddle, played together, represent an earlier intersection of African and European cultures. Things move in cycles. Thanks for the great video!

  16. Posted December 31, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I know you posted this ages ago, but I was lucky enough to catch the banjo and fiddler in Union Square a few days after you saw them. They are a couple of really talented guys! :)

  17. MikeW
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely fecking wonderful!

    An essentially urban yet timelessly traditional encounter. Cities must be our future.

  18. andie
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    so much talent here,it’s miraculous to behold.i want know if the dancers were part of the act or if they decided to just start”clownin” on their own? and did the people watching give money for that? if not they sure the hell should’ve,I certainly would give a $20 without hesitation,that was worth it.

  19. bob
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink


  20. MAN
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:33 am | Permalink


  21. MAN
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    just kidding

  22. Posted April 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    haha funny idk what i am typing for but what ever i am at school in the computer lab and i am bored haha lol bye

  23. Anonymous
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink


  24. anna lee
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    you are awsome Mily Cyrus

  25. anna lee
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    i love you

  26. Posted April 27, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    this is crap

  27. Anonymous
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    hi miley im like a huge fan and wanna know when is you tor cause i like wanna come lol hehe xx

  28. bob
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    i love ya im from america but i like moved from there coz of my mum and dad but hay it is so worth it oh and im coming on your web 24 7 now as you is awsom gotta show milly my mate ta bye xx

  29. Anonymous
    Posted June 5, 2009 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    this is shit

  30. Posted June 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    yeah watching them would make anyone’s day. any day.
    i’d really like to watch them live.

  31. tubular
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m not american but its nice to see the progress the culture has made in terms of racism. I mean, wouldn’t these guys normally be lynched by banjo playing dudes like a century ago? Look at them now

  32. Brandon
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    You should have just turned around and jumped in front of the next on-coming train.

    sorry….just having a bad day!

  33. amy
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful world :D

  34. mavan
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    What a happy time to be in the subway that day.
    Glad you could capture it for the rest of us.