Artis the spoon man is a street performer who performs at fairs and concerts around the northwest. He is a small wiry guy with dreadlocks and the coolest patchwork jeans I've ever seen. He plays (duh) spoons. In his leather case, carefully wrapped in a cloth, he has dozens of spoons, metal, wood, old, new, big, small.
Artis usually starts out a performance by playing the spoons in a somewhat normal manner, slapping them off his thighs and clanking them together. But then....the show begins...Artis goes wild. He clanks and taps the spoons off his head, his cheeks, his stomach....and as he does he gets wilder and wilder and moves faster and faster. Soon Artis is a dervish, almost moving faster than you can see, and creating an amazing music with just his spoons and his body.
I first saw Artis at the Oregon Country Fair where he is a regular and very popular performer. He has been on stage with The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, and Soundgarden. Chris Cornel of Soundgarden even wrote a song about Artis entitled Spoonman which was released on the Superunknown album. Artis has also appeared on the David Letterman show and on Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. I'd love to see David Letterman's response to Artis.