May 12, 2010, Kirk Avenue, downtown Roanoke: the first time I would have the good fortune to see the contemporary bluegrass band The Infamous Stringdusters live, and the first time I would see Travis Book, the band’s upright bass player, laying down the backbone for the band and sharing the vocals. I had only bought a couple of studio produced cds at the time, but they provided more than enough motivation to go. Somewhere in between the first few songs of the show, and probably about halfway through my first Shooting Creek Buffalo Brown ale (original edition, back then) and definitely before “Booksy” began singing first words of the band’s “It’ll Be Alright”, I knew I was hooked.
Book has returned to perform the occasional solo show here in Roanoke from time to time, and the band and its members are no strangers to visits and performances at breweries. (The Stringdusters have performed at Michigan’s Bells Brewing, California’s Humbolt Brews, Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing, and have been associated with Colorado’s Oskar Blues’ charitable CAN’d Aid Foundation since at least 2013.) Their annual multi-day music festival, “The Festy Experience”, held each October, is located on the grounds at Devils Backbone’s “basecamp” brewpub in Nelson County. This Friday, the talented Book will return to the area for a solo performance at Salem’s Parkway Brewing.
For his solo gigs, Book plays acoustic guitar and usually weaves through set lists of Stringdusters songs as well as other personal favorites, and often covers songs he performed and wrote alongside one of his own personal heroes, a songwriter by the name of Benny “Burle” Galloway. Many of those songs are available on Book’s recent cd release “Alice”. Book and Galloway performed a handful of intimate “house shows” in Colorado in early September.
This Friday however, you can come out and see Book solo and of course enjoy Parkway’s beer as well! The show itself is free, and according to the brewery’s Facebook page, begins around 6pm. There will be a ticket giveaway during the evening for this year’s “Festy Experience”, which is coming up this year on October 10 -12.
If my memory is correct, Book himself is a fan of fine IPAs, occasionally mentioning having the good luck to come across a few Heady Toppers from time to time.
One of Parkway’s Get Bent Mountain IPAs should be right up his alley.