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9 years on the road—traveling musician plays for drivers passing by on Alpine

Darren Yott, 26, left his home in Memphis almost a decade ago to travel the country and play his brand of blues guitar wherever he finds a crowd
Darren Yott
Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 18:50:18-04

WALKER, Mich. — A musician who has spent nearly the last decade of his life traveling the country by foot and by bus was in West Michigan Tuesday, performing his brand of electric blues guitar near a business intersection just off Alpine Ave.

“I just keep traveling, just keep wandering through states," 26-year-old Darren Yott told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon.

Yott had set up in the median between Taco Bell and Targeteven equipped with an amplifier that he has been traveling with.

He is a Pisces, and likely above all else, he is a blues guitarist.

“My dad and every foster parent I went through when I was a kid, they just were like, 'He's really good at guitar. He loves guitar,'" Yott explained.

"It's the only thing I could ever focus on.”

He says that he struggled with school when he was younger, always falling back on his true passion, playing guitar.

As it turns out, though, the road has provided him more of an education than any classroom ever could.

“I’ve learned a lot about people, people watching... Just learning what people like, what people don’t, taking requests on the road,” Yott said Tuesday.

“As a busker, I broke my stage fright and talking in front of people young, because singing and guitar was like my favorite thing to do.”

Beyond his growth as a human being, his approach to life has allowed him to see much of the United States.

"I walked from Memphis to Little Rock, Arkansas... I caught a bus from Arkansas to Chicago... I walked from Chicago to here... I left from here, went to California... I've seen Oregon and Washington doing this... I've been to the mountains of Colorado," he explained.

While there is typically some uncertainty associated with Yott's method of travel, he says the experience has been beyond fulfilling.

He's played shows at several venues in Grand Rapids, but says one of his favorite places to play is on the beach in Grand Haven.

In his spot on Alpine Tuesday, he wasn't asking for moneyjust sharing the storied tones of his blues guitar.

Yott tells FOX 17, “I want people to enjoy this as much as I do, and the only thing I could do is sing and play guitar... And it makes me smile. It makes other people smile.”

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