You might never ask his name, but he is a familiar face. You might never shake his hand, but you walk past him everyday. Dred Scott is a singer-songwriter who calls Denver’s 16th street mall home. As a member of the hundreds of Denver’s homeless, Scott eats, sleeps — and most importanly sings on that stretch of street that most Denverites walk every day.
“I’ve made anywhere from three dollars to three hundred dollars playing in a day,” he said this morning.
Recently, after years of street busking and searching for places to sleep for over 16 years, Scott was discovered by Colorado-based artist and producer Tyler Ward. Ward recorded and released a live album of Dred’s performance through iTunes in hopes to it would help pay for food, shelter and clothing for Scott. The result was much more successful. Within days of the iTunes release, Scott hit No. 14 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts and has crested 400,000 YouTube views of a live video performance.
Watch the video below:
Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.