It’s no secret that I love all kinds of music and I take the opportunity often to see as many perform as possible. Some friends and I went to Local Color, a quaint music hall and café in Springville, Alabama off of Highway 11 about 30 minutes north of Birmingham. Local Color Café is owned by Merle Dollar, who is a vocalist and a visual artist, and whose art is displayed throughout the café. The doors of the venue open at 6 pm, which is dinnertime according to the café’s Facebook Page. There are no menus, only a white board listing the evening’s entrées with the qualifier, “as long as they are available.” Each entrée is served with homemade cornbread. Around 7:00 or 7:30 pm Merle comes out of the kitchen for the pre-show, with her distant cousins, Sylvia and Peggy, known as the Something Else! Trio. The cousins grew up singing in choirs in church and Merle sang with rock n roll bands and then in theatre performances such as Oklahoma. The main musical act comes on around 8pm and those acts are usually well-known bands from around Alabama and the music can range from gospel, to bluegrass, to folk and rock ‘n’ roll.
The Celtic Band, Chambless & Muse, performed last night. Scooter Muse is the Muse part of the band and often plays with my friends, The Wildwood Ruminators in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It was a real treat to see them last night. I tried something new with the ‘live’ streaming app Periscope as part of my blog which allowed me to ‘live’ stream a couple of Chambless & Muse’s songs. Don’t worry, I asked permission of the musicians first.
One of the more valuable things you get from listening to live music around the state is that you get to meet some incredibly talented musicians and their fans who follow them. In June 2014, I had the opportunity to get to know one of my now closest friends, Dorothy Bloom Little while attending the Helen Keller Festival in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Dorothy and her friend Nancy are huge followers and friends of The Wildwood Ruminators. Dorothy is far from Southern (she is from Cleveland, Ohio by way of New York City), but I’ve had a great time introducing her to various parts of the state, that if one, is not from here, wouldn’t know existed. Dorothy and I like to banter back and forth on various topics such as Southern cooking, as noted in the video below. I am grateful that music has given me the opportunity to meet people who have similar interests as mine.