For a couple of years, I have served as a part-time impresario to Night Train, the Southern rock band based in the mountains of Kentucky. I first hooked up with them through a meandering series of e-mails. I had seen the video of Jesco White in “Dancing Outlaw” and I wondered whatever happened to the pride of Boone Co., West Virginia, if he was even alive. Well, Jesco doesn’t have an e-mail address, because he doesn’t have phone service and his reading skills are suspect. I did find a band on the ‘net who plays back-up for him on occasion, Night Train. I e-mailed the band’s leader, David “Chico” Prince. It was a blizzardy weekend and he invited me to check out the band in Charleston, West Virginia. Since Charleston is 6 hours away in good weather, Driving Companion put his foot down, as he is wont to do.
I asked Chico if he ever played in this area, but he didn’t think that folks here would come out to see good Southern rock. I was shocked! I knew there was a potential gold mine. I told him so, but he responded, “If you’re so smart, why don’t you book us some gigs?” It was a rhetorical question that was about to change my life.
I stared at the computer screen and paced about my apartment a bit. I was a child prodigy violinist and I knew about gigs. I have my law degree, so I know about contracts. This seemed like all my skills rolled into one, in a way I had never considered. I sent the e-mail that I “would like to try”. I listened to their CD, 8th Grade Bride, with original songs about their life there. Being a defense attorney, I especially liked “Big Block Cop”. I got on the phone and the Internet and I booked Night Train’s first gig at Zig’s, in Alexandria. I e-mailed any group of people in the area that might appreciate them, including motorcycle clubs, military groups and Southern historical groups. I put together little thank you packages for the 3 musicians (Dave Prince, Bobby Lee Atkins, George Ray) and their roadie/in-house artist, Tim Hall, with “Virginia is for Lovers” bumper stickers and “Mountain Man” soaps. They arrived in a beat-up van from Mossy Jaw, Kentucky, in overalls and no shirts. I was delighted. I have seen interviews of Chico that he thinks I look at them the way they look at Jesco White. That’s really far from the truth; they have my strongest admiration and appreciation for the opportunity they trusted me with.
Well, we’ve been at it ever since. I’d love to have them come out here more often. Night Train is playing a free live web cast on October 13, 2005 at 9 p.m. EST on http://www.artistfirst.com . You can check out Night Train’s web site at http://www.8thgradebride.com. If you’d like more info on the band, give me a holler at firstname.lastname@example.org.