Merrimon Avenue Then and Now

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Merrimon Avenue Then and Now

I'm back after having breakfast at the Atlanta Bread Company on Merrimon Ave (Asheville), which has been there about 3 years now.

Actually, some people who've left Asheville would be surprised to see how little Merrimon Avenue has changed. Years ago on this corner of Merrimon and Edgewood is where the Brass Tap, Caesar's and the Human Factor once stood. All the same building; just different ownership.

It was a laid back bar with live music. You could walk in with your guitar and get called up to join the band or get asked to come up and sing harmony.

It was an intimate musician's place where single pickers and bands came to play on Open Mic nights or were booked for a set. Guitar builders, songwriters and wicked blues musicians were showcased all the way to New York and Nashville, depending on your style. Loocal heros like Malcolm Holcombe, Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule), Ray Sisk, Joey Freeman, Bruce McTaggart, Steve Cook and a few others. Like Ronnie Burgin, who has since passed on, but he may have been the best blues guitar player/singer I ever did see. Sober or not. What I'd give to hear him belt it out just one more time.

But back to Merrimon Avenue. It's still the same tiny 4-lane road with a few new banks and restaurants so basically it looks the same way it did 20 years ago.

Photo by Zen



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