6Am Departure, didn’t even bother taking my clothes off. Slept until noon or so in the back. We began to hit hill country, and the vistas were grand. Rolling hills and twisty roads, we went deep into hillbilly country. We went past a charcoal factory and NLX was struck by memories of her childhood. We stopped at a gas station and while standing in the lot, a car pulled up behind me, as I was stepping out of the way a fellow in the passenger seat started making bizarre hand gestures. He got out and was wearing jeans, a jean jacket and red shirt with a small circular hole in the front. In a thick rural accent he asked us our names, we shook his hand and Tara asked his name. “My name is shit, want a pile?” He replied. We left soon after, up the into the hills. The elevation at Thomas WV, is 3,035 ft (925 m). Arriving into the town, a bleak scene was presented, a big burnt out and collapsing building was the first monument into the community, further along the state road the houses and stores were checkered with both the lived-in look and boarded up windows. The Venue of the evening, the purple fiddle http://www.purplefiddle.com/, seems to be an epicenter of life in the town and surrounding areas. A purple carved elk’s head sits atop the entrance and the windows were a flourish of posters for upcoming shows. Most posters featured acoustic instruments and relaxed looking people. Inside there was a picture of the throat singing Tuvan monks who’d played the week before. There was a distinct smell of old wood and antiques in the cafe, pictures, captions, artifacts and artwork covered the walls. It reminded me of the Rasputin’s in Ottawa, the All Citizen’s in Bruno, Sask, and the General Store in Twin Butte, Alberta. Homey is a work I would use to describe the place. Out front was an elderly man named Tony, who worked maintenance at store and lived next door. He’d been traveling for many years, going wherever there was work. Old church pews draped with quilts sat in front of the stage and the staff and locals where warm and friendly.
We did another song writer’s circle and it went smoothly, although breaking down into a giggle fest a few times. The reception was grand and I think we made enough to get to Pittsburgh. After the gig, we and all hangers on went up to the apartment above the room where the owner Joe had once raised a family. One of the staff members is a young San Francisco musician named Lindsay who was hiding out on the east coast recording a solo project and waiting for the next tour with her band.
We went for a stroll around town and hung out in the graveyard, good times.