PROVINCETOWN – Between Fats Waller and Pete Seeger songs, street performer Will Harrington was approached by a man offering to help him get gigs in Boston. The man asked Harrington his age.
“I turn 18 tomorrow,” said Harrington, who has done street performance in Provincetown since he was 14.
Peter Van Stratum of Truro, who said he has a friend who owns five bars in Boston, has been impressed by the young man with the rolling upright piano since he saw him play last year. “He’s got an eclectic bunch of music. People stop and listen to him,” said Van Stratum. “They don’t just walk by. This is good shit.”
Indeed it was. Harrington began playing music on guitar and then piano when he was 12. A native of Dennis, Harrington moved to Provincetown to be a street performer. He said he does carpentry on the side, and is a senior at Nauset Regional High School.
His dark, husky voice, he said, comes from “smoking too many cigarettes.”
The roll-up piano was, earlier this winter, covered a snow drift and he spent a long time this winter rehabilitating it. According to Mike Myers, another street musician who was watching Harrington this particular day, “the idea of a mobile piano is pretty awesome.”
Myers said he met Harrington when Harrington was playing music. And although he was young and new, Myers said, “The town is really welcoming towards it, so it makes it a little easier. The town is receptive.” But he added about Harrington, “he knows his shit.”
A bright sunny March day was his first gig of the year, he said. “I was very rusty,” said Harrington.
Check out what Will Harrington’s “rusty” sounds like on this compelling version of Pete Seeger’s sarcastic ode to conformity (Provincetown is a great place for that, right?) “Little Boxes.”
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