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.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett

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.”

Credit: Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.