“We are just people trying to get by in life. We play music on the street to earn our money instead of asking for handouts. We do migrant work. We were just on farms in the northeast doing harvest work. We want good things for our life, it is just hard to find satisfaction in the more prescribed mode of life that society lays forth for us. It is hard to stay in once place. It is funny how people judge us because we have backpacks. They see us as irrelevant and should be forced out and discarded.”
“I am not social beyond my close friends and it is hard to stay in one place and get to know people. I feel trapped in four walls. Knowing I am consistently moving keeps my mind focused and in a better place. Every day is different and I am more in the moment. It is like you are floating.
“Being on a train feels like you are floating. I am naturally nomadic and it is nice to remain somewhat anonymous. You go through parts of untouched wilderness that only trains go through. It is parts of the country most people never see and you are miles away from other humans.”
“There is a long history of people riding trains. Hobos rode those train lines during the Depression looking for migrant work. We are escaping the mentality of a nine to five job and all of the things that go with it. The job and place to live. People have mixed emotions when they hear this. Some are critical, but anyone can understand the feeling of being free. There are sacrifices but every day it pays off. It teaches you to be grateful for the small things. We only own what is necessary to eat or stay warm. Music is a big part of life for us. It is how we express ourselves and tell our story. I love singing the old Woody Guthrie songs. It can be dangerous if you aren’t aware. I have a friend who is missing the tips of all ten fingers. He still plays an amazing guitar.
“I am new to music. I carry a songbook with me to write songs about our life as we go. There is a lot to write about.”
(This is from a conversation with four “train kids” playing music in Bienville Square)