Hillbilly Highway – High & Lonesome Times

Sometimes when you’re cruising down the highway, some slick somebody cuts you off and burns away, leaving you in their dust.

This week, I was going to write about the Times Change(d), as beauty a rest-stop on the Hillbilly Highway as any in the free world. See, there’s a film coming out about the joint this Thursday at the Times itself, with screening and performances by Times regulars Andrew Neville & the Poor Choices and Guerrillas of Soul.

But Kent Davies beat me to it, the truck driving son of a gun. And he did a good job of it too, summing up the event and the beauty of the bar succinctly. Like an experienced vet; like a pro. Read about it on the Uniter’s blog.

I was asking for it, though. I was lagging at the wheel, thinking back on many of my own times at the Times Change(d). As most any who has spent even an evening in the place can attest, the place has been the scene of many un-fucking-believable nights.

The sheer amount of talent that has poured in and out of those doors, that have filled that place with beautiful, heartbreaking sounds, is staggering. Add up the experiences of every patron who’s ever enjoyed one of those nights and you’d have one big old pile of good, pure fucked up and interesting.

I’ve never been a regular, but I’ve downed a good number of drinks there. I’ve been carried out of that place at least once, have had great success and terrible failure between those walls, and have had my mind blown by my proximity to greatness. I’ve lost winter clothes, and much dignity.

But I always had a good time doing so. It is a warm shelter from the storms — literal and figural — that a day can throw at you, when you’re cruising down the Hillbilly Highway with one hand on the wheel, the other cranking the dials looking for a gospel station, or something playing that high, lonesome sound in your heart.

If the good Lord’s willing, and the creek don’t rise, I’ll see you there again soon, friends.

– Sheldon Birnie for Stylus Magazine

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