Let’s say you’re the little town of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. You have a beautiful but rapidly aging 1910 schoolhouse on a piece of prime real estate not far from the Interstate. Do you:
A) Bulldoze it away for a strip mall like the one across the road?
B) Hope someone might save and salvage it?
Fortunately Cottage Grove chose B, and after much sweat and cash equity new owner David Morrow repurposed the venerated little learning center into an art gallery, café– and more recently, a live music venue. I played outdoors there recently on a classic Cheeseland summer evening with fellow singer-songwriters Rich Baumann and Reid Miller. The setting was so picture perfect that I could point upward to the inspiration for my cloud song “Cumulus” hovering over the cornfields.
Venues where music is really listened to– as opposed to background noise for getting drunk– are much appreciated by folks of my ilk, so a tip of my guitar goes out to David and manager Eric Willman for converting the old Gaston School into a college of musical knowledge. Check it out at www.gastonschoolgallery.com