“For the Love of Music” – That’s what the weekend at the Purple Fiddle was all about when the series of five April and May benefit concerts began there! John Bright, owner of the Fiddle, has been overwhelmed and grateful that 17 bands responded quickly when he asked if they would give their time and talent to keep the doors open at the Fiddle. The house was full on Friday for the first concert. Again on Saturday, when we were there, four acts and loyal Fiddle fans braved Mother Nature’s April snow-joke to fill the house for a fantastic evening of music. JB Tenney (from Elkins) opened the evening, followed by Stephanie Nilles (from New Orleans), Cello Fury (from Pittsburgh) and the Zach Brock Band (based in New York).
We were overwhelmed not just by the support that the Tucker County community gave by showing up on such a night, but by four amazing musical acts that performed “For the Love of Music.” What a perfect name for the series of benefit concerts that will raise money to keep the Fiddle open and healthy. The performers all say that they are giving their services because they love to play at the Purple Fiddle where the audiences are appreciative and responsive. We see the Purple Fiddle as being a powerful attribute to Tucker County, a real musical crossroads that puts Tucker County “on the map.”
So let’s all play to our strength. By that we mean that the Purple Fiddle is “our strength”—one of them, at least. Great musical groups that criss-cross the map in their performing schedule love to play here. In John Bright’s words when asked how he finds these amazing musicians, “They find me. They ask to book into the Fiddle!” But it isn’t just that great groups come here. There are fine musicians who live and work and perform here, and the interaction with those traveling through produces an even stronger music community here. They feed off each other. And that makes Tucker County an even greater attraction to the tourists looking for an all-seasons place to come and spend some quality time.
Think of “For the Love of Music” not just as benefit concerts to save the Purple Fiddle, but as a way to play to our strength. It just makes sense for us as residents to do what we can to support this effort, to help keep our musical community strong.
There will be three more benefit concerts on April 22, May 7 and May 20. Save the dates.