June 03, 2020
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Stranded by the pandemic, this touring musician is strumming on Portland’s streets

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
His tour of New England bars and coffeeshops on hold indefinitely due to the coronavirus, Patrick Bruce sings in Portland's Congress Square on Wednesday. Bruce goes by the stage name PMB.

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PORTLAND, Maine — Patrick Bruce stood on the edge of Congress Square on Wednesday afternoon, strumming and singing songs while a nearby woman feeding pigeons yelled at gulls swooping in for the free grub.

Bruce, who goes by the stage name PMB, had his case open, looking for tips. A few crumpled bills lay at the bottom next to a hand-lettered sign reading: “Tour cancelled due to virus.”

“I was going to be passing through town but I got a little stranded,” Bruce said.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
His tour of New England bars and coffeeshops on hold indefinitely due to the coronavirus, Patrick Bruce sings in Portland's Congress Square on Wednesday. Bruce goes by the stage name PMB.

The singer and songwriter had plans for a New England tour that featured stops at coffee shops and bars in towns including Portsmouth, Nashua, Concord, Fall River and Middlebury. The coronavirus pandemic has put an end to Bruce’s tour schedule.

The Fall River, Massachusetts native is staying in Saco for now and trying to make ends meet by busking in Portland. He’s also doing some driving for Uber Eats, delivering food for area restaurants which are all take-out only for the time being.

Bruce isn’t sure what he’ll do next but wanted to take advantage of the day’s sunshine while he could.

“All the bars are doing the right thing,” Brue said. “I get it.”

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Patrick Bruce sings in Portland's Congress Square on Wednesday. Bruce's musical tour of New England was just canceled by the coronavirus and he's singing on the street to make ends meet.

 


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