There is a politeness thing I saw when in New Orleans many years ago, mixing our record at Danny Lanois’s. This is what happened – I would be walking down the street, a stranger would pass me and simultaneously they would say “Hi how ya’ll doin’?
I totally knew this was bullshit and appropriately checked my wallet and didn’t respond, kept walking like nothing happened. After 4 or 5 of these encounters and I put it together – these people were taught to do this when they pass strangers. At first I thought how phony but later I got excited, before you knew it I was trying to beat the next stranger to the punch line.
Unexpected American gift. Compensation for their border guards. Since that time, back in Canada I’ve tried it out, lots. Sometimes people act just like I did, looking at me like they know I’m up to something. Some smile politely. Some naturally say hello back like it was an ordinary exchange.
But all that is simply to say, similar to the greeting between strangers, that when you are making music with someone new, you feel out whether you have common ground or not.