While New Yorkers are generally nicer than they're given credit for, most of the time, they'll just ignore their surroundings. When you push through a train mob to a platform mob to a sidewalk mob, it's easy to forget all the beautiful sights and sounds around you. But these subway buskers? They're too good to ignore.
Uploaded to YouTube by user Benjamin Lamson, the brief but wondrous clip shows an upright bass player and guitarist performing "Slow Boat to China." While the song's a jazz standard, it's the performance that'll grab even the most jaded of passersby. The guitarist has a butttery, Sinatra voice -- but when the whistling starts, you won't be able to stop yourself tapping along and wishing you could throw the duo a dollar for their troubles.
The timing of the video -- sans trains or lousy interlopers -- couldn't be better, especially for a mobile phone recording. Call it serendipity. As the video made its way up the charts on reddit, the bassist's brother (purportedly) replied, thanking the newfound fans for supporting Damon Hankoff, while posting a documentary he'd filmed about the musician.
Additionally, another user posted a Soundcloud link featuring seven tracks by the guitarist, whose name is listed as vilray. Internet sleuthing (hey, it's 5p on a Friday) suggests this is the same Vilray who performs at Rye in Williamsburg the last Tuesday of every month. You can also check out his Facebook page here -- he had 103 likes as of this posting, but that's sure to skyrocket.
Anyway, this delightful rendition means you'll probably hear more about -- and from -- these guys in the near future. We should all only be so lucky.
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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He'd definitely drop a buck or two into a hat for these guys, and hopes to run into them soon. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.