You've walked by them on your way to dinner, movies or a ballgame. You might've even tossed some cash into their tip jars. They're street musicians. They add richness to the urban tapestry. The British, and some in-the-know Americans, call them buskers.
But who are they? They have lives, you know. Some survive by performing on the streets; others do it as a lark.
I lit out with two other CL staffers — Leilani Polk and Wade Tatangelo — on an early Friday evening to see how many buskers we could encounter. We found all of them in downtown St. Pete; Ybor City was a bust.
We wanted to add a little American Idol flair to our exercise, so after we give you a quick profile of each street musician, we weigh in with a critique. Don't expect any Simon-esque slash-and-burn, though. These performers were all out there working it. They earned our admiration.
And if you want to decide for yourself who should win the prize, we've provided sound clips of the performers with each of the profiles below.