The South Gate to Our Hearts
The Bloodroots Barter got us all booked in a crazy venue in the Cincinnati metro area called the Southgate House. It was the first thing on our minds when we woke on Jorja’s floor. A long drive was ahead of us, but this venue seemed like a cool spot. We all convened at Acoustic Coffeehouse, said goodbye to Johnson City, and hit the highway.
Sailing through the hills, we were in Kentucky in no time. The sun shined and the highway curled into the mountains and across lakes nestled in green valleys. The landscape flattened out as we approached Lexington, and in a short time we could see the towers on Cincinnati peak over the horizon. We rolled into Newport KY, a suburb across the river.
The Southgate house is a massive brick house with Victorian touches perched at the top of a small green hill. Inside there is a bar, a lounge upstairs, and a large ballroom nearly the size of the 9:30 club in the back. Behind the building in a brick lined alley where we saw Bloodroots Barter’s bus crawl to a stop. After a short discussion about set times, we all loaded in at top speed.
We had decided to trade off sets, each of us playing two 45 minute sets. This meant that we were surrounded by Bloodroot’s pelts, empty whiskey bottles, and Styrofoam heads. After a quick mic check, we were off and running. The first set was easy. Before we knew it, we were handing off to Bloodroots Barter, and the room was well warmed up. While they powered through a set of blistering bluegrass and roots music, we traveled the room and met some of the fine people who were so recently cheering us on.
Soon we were playing another set. Loosened up by a few beers, we touched on some tunes we hadn’t played in a while. It was a very fun set, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Bloodroots closed out the night and got everyone dancing.
Afterwards, we met in the alley behind the venue to discuss the evening and congratulate ourselves on a good show. We decided on sleeping in the bus in a Costco parking lot nearby. Blythe and I curled up where Casey had just removed a kitchen table and fell quickly asleep.
Tomorrow… Al’s bar, Lexington, and tuberculosis.