Pocahontas County & the Bullfrog

Well, we’re having a fabulous night in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Took a beautiful drive from Durham, NC, up into Virginia, and over to West Virginia today. Stunning land and ride. Excited to drive past Rocky Mount, VA, home of the Great Moonshine Conspiracy trial of 1935 documented in Matt Bondurant’s book The Wettest Country in the World, which I read and enjoyed not too long ago. Enjoyed playing to a crowd of new friends at The Schoolhouse. Played a few of my West Virginia-inspired songs solo which stem from my previous visits here, then we did a pseudo-unplugged band set. Didn’t amp the guitar and no vocal mic, but it worked out nicely.

This is a lovely place- great people doing excellent work in the region. Got gifted fresh, homemade goat cheese and a loaf of bread to take with us on the road. Sold some new CDs and I’m glad these songs will be wafting through the Monongahela air. We’re staying at my friend Emily’s (and Lynnmarie, who’s away now) place directly next door to the Pearl S. Buck birthplace and homestead. This is magical stuff. Listened to some records, saw a sky full of clear stars, heard about Emily’s war bride grandmother, and we’re listening now to tonight’s show which Pozz videotaped. Tomorrow’s a 6+ hour drive over to Easton, Maryland. Playing in what looks to be an excellent room, Stoltz Listening Room at Avalon Theater. Heard there’s a nice scene of listeners in Easton. Hope to meet and play for them tomorrow.

Last night was a slow Wednesday night in Durham, but some friends came out and we got to catch up a bit and listen to the wonderful and sometimes raunchy songs of Bullfrog Willard McGhee. This guy’s incredible. Great stories of the blues players of today and the past. Bullfrog knows where everyone is buried. Here’s some white man blues that are too real- intricate piedmont blues picking, gruff voice, authentic in form and delivery. Close your eyes and Bullfrog could be a blind ole picker from a long time back.

Yesterday was the start of the tour, and it felt great to get the group of guys together to head out on our weeklong music adventure. First time I’ve brought a band out of the southeast, and I’m psyched to bring these songs and arrangements to everyone. We think this should be heard. Come see us sometime. We’re only two shows in, feeling good and pretty tight. It’s a thrill to be
out here, playing and touring. Booked a Daytrotter session, so we’ll be making our way up to Rock Island, IL, and Chicago on a long weekend July 18-20. Hopeful we can do some more runs in the coming months, too. Any touring acts looking for an opener.. get in touch and let’s make a plan with The Wild Fires.

Off to sleep for some sleep and vocal rest. Be back next time..

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