Usually when I head west on I-40, I intend to visit my folks who live just a few miles off of Exit 138 in Catawba, NC. This weekend, however, I kept on going for about 60 more miles past my hometown into the beautiful, dark hills of Black Mountain. The Straightaway Cafe was about 8 miles removed of down town, and as we wound further and further up the mountain, we just knew we had passed the venue… All we could see were houses and hills… then, as the road straightened out, there it was! All the locals out that way come and gather on the back porch, sharing stories, smiles and drinks as the music plays on through the night. The community is bonded like family, and the Straightaway is their “home away from home.” I sure hope we’ll be back again… next time, around though, I’ll definitely lay on the bug repellent more seriously… 45 bites all over my legs and arms made for the most distracted and uncomfortable performance so far… I guess my “all natural” Neem just wasn’t enough to do the job.
After some respite on Saturday, we headed to the well-known Jack of the Wood pub to open the stage for local band Chompin’ at the Bit (incredible 5-piece, old time string band!). This was one of our top performances to date. The crowd was generous and in a listening mood; our sound man was 100% attentive and took great care of us, and the food and drink was the best all weekend! It also helped that we played inside so I didn’t have to worry about the mosquitoes again. 🙂
Asheville: You are a real gem. We can’t wait to be back and play for you again. More info soon on the particulars of a house show that is brewing up there for our return trip from Knoxville coming up in June!
Pics from Black Mountain: 5/25