Twenty-six states is how far Elijah Semper hitchhiked to get to Idaho Springs five years ago. And for the five years since, he’s played his guitar for Miner Street.
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“It’s my only job, the only thing that keeps me sane. I’ve tried working real jobs and I go crazy, but this makes me happy, and it makes other people happy,” Semper said.
He grew up outside Orlando, Florida, describing the state as “a great place to get away from if you’re from there.”
He hitchhiked to follow bands across the country, following Widespread Panic straight into Colorado and onto Morrison. Eventually his family moved out west too, to Idaho Springs. He followed not long after.
“I love this place,” he said. “People actually smile at you and wave to you, you don’t have to hide your jewelry when you’re walking out on the street.”
He tries to play every weekday around 6 p.m., until the rain drives him away, and every Friday he plays at the Yeti Saloon. “I played last week on Friday and Saturday, that was a fun time,” he said.
The music he plays differs day to day. “I’ll do anything from 100 year old bluegrass songs to Lil Wayne — depends on the crowd,” Semper said, splitting time from covers and his own original music about 50/50.
When asked what genre his own music falls under, he couldn’t parse it down.
“I don’t know," he finally said. "It’s somewhere between everything I feel like.”
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