Remember this song?

“Don’t bring me down”

I do.

These guys – Black Stone Cherry – are playing June 5 at The Barn at Paint Fork in Barnardsville, North Carolina, just a half-hour from Asheville.

When I lived In the mountains outside of Weaverville last spring for two months, I frequently drove by the beautiful wooden sign for The Barn, on Paint Fork Road just south of Barnardsville.

Someone at one of the local convenience stores on Barnardsville Highway told me that The Barn puts on some great shows. I think I just didn’t take it serious that a little barn on that little road in little Barnardsville would actually bring in national acts – but they do!

I will be checking the place out this Saturday, when they have an arts fair in the morning from 9 to 1 and a benefit concert in the afternoon from 3 to 6.

Having spent the last year running the back roads of Appalachia during the pandemic, it is just so exciting to me that my Appalachia – which was so dormant last year, is coming back to life.

I love these country arts and music festivals. Here is a link to a video I shot at the Jackson Arts Fair in Sylva a few weeks ago. I think it conveys some of the flavor of how sweet and happy and laid-back these events can be.

If you are free on Saturday, I encourage you to come on out to Barnardsville and check out The Barn with me. I am even going to try to reach the management tomorrow and get them to sign on for me to do some of my poetry busking and Authentic Dance Coaching during the fair.

Wow, to go from “surviving the pandemic in Appalachia” in 2020 to “Coming back to life again in Appalachia” in 2021!

It’s not a sure thing yet. That damn virus still has its claws in us. But we are, as a country, getting smarter about social distancing – and now getting our vaccines.

I, like probably many of us, am already choosing to drop my mask in certain, select, sweet situations. Maybe, if we all choose well and continue to be careful when we need to, this opening may really turn out to be the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Barn at Paint Fork

Web site:

Tickets: (800) 514-3849


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These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.

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