Below was first published March 26, 2021 when Mitch first started playing on virtually empty streets around Oil city. Since then he has been traveling around the region playing virtually everyday . Yester day he was featured in The Last Word, a regular segment on Erie News Now with veteran report John Last.
Click on this link to see the news cast after checking out this story from a few months ago.
Since then he has played around the area a lot. He also traveled south to get hooked on some blues riffs and returned home with a character that was in hot demand for awhile - the Man in the Red Coat. He would put himself on stage with a big wooden platform (his percussion section), a tambourine and harmonica and as a guitar player became an entire band. He would amaze local audiences that all this sound was coming from just one dude in a slick red coat and white hat.
He even took a shot at the Taste of Talent on year.
During this time he took up philosophy and went to school in Youngstown, transfereed to Pitt, became politically active and also dabbled in social activism. He doesn't shy away from facing life head on.
"I was going a bit stir crazy," he said standing on the conner of Seneca and Center Streets in Oil City Friday night. COVID-19 and restrictions have been weighing heavy on him. About a week ago he said he had enough and decided to challenge himself to play every night for 30 days out on the streets of Oil City (and maybe Franklin soon) for no other reason but to give people a sense of something fun going on at a crazy time.
"It's actually a little bit selfish, if you want to know the truth," he said. He really just wants to do something. And he hopes people have fun digging what he's putting out there.
He's not doing this for money, but folks have thrown money out their car windows at him. "I chase them down," he says about the bills folks toss out as they pass. "It's a dollar or a five, but its rolling around in the street," he says. So he picks it up. "I haven't decided what I'll do with the money, it's not a lot, but it's something." He said he'll figure out some way to use the money for good.
Litler says he'll keep doing this for the 30 days he set out, but isn't sure if it might turn into something more. He may take this to Pittsburgh if a possible internship takes his life there, or he might take it anywhere. And it might stay here. Home.
For now, he tries to let folks know where he'll be each night via his Facebook account, but mostly he plays at Town Square or on the Central Avenue Plaza in Oil City each night at 6:30 p.m. He usually plays for a couple of hours.