Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Cutest Town

Angelica New York
All Photos by April Brown

Nothing could've prepared me for Angelica, NY.
I'd never been to upstate New York before. In fact, this tour is my first real experience in the Northeast corridor above Manhattan. I've traveled a lot in my life, but most of my travels have taken me to Everywhere In The Middle. Out there, rural towns often look similar regardless of where you are; there's a familiarity to the locally owned groceries, the sights of silos along the highway, and the dusty old gas stations. Whether you're in your own hometown or half a country away, rural towns all have the same sort of energy, and the best part is that it always feels like coming home.

Angelica New YorkAngelica New York
Angelica New York
Angelica New YorkAngelica New YorkAngelica New York

Angelica was sort of like that, but...different. This little place was so perfect: It looked like the set of a movie. Its town hall and its churches were all perched perfectly in a roundabout that encircled a beautiful park with a gazebo. And just off this roundabout was a gorgeous little cafe called Black-Eyed Susan. That's where we played.

Black Eyed Susan Acoustic Cafe Angelica New York
Angie Atkinson Ashlie Lauren Smith Black Eyed Susan Acoustic CafeBlack Eyed Susan Acoustic Cafe Angelica New York

This community is small, but it is so vibrant. The cafe was quiet, and I definitely toned down the usual howling-at-the-moon style of country rock that I do back home. Ashlie and I brought them some piano-and-uke-accompanied, acoustic versions of my tunes. But the support of the audience was amazing; they were an engaged AND an engaging audience. We had conversations, and singing my songs for them felt like just sitting down and quietly telling stories.

Angie Atkinson Ashlie Lauren Smith Black Eyed Susan Acoustic CafeP6301654
Angie Atkinson Black Eyed Susan CafeAngie Atkinson Black Eyed Susan Cafe

Black-eyed Susan is stunningly beautiful, a converted old home in the heart of a row of shops that are so perfect and quaint that they belong in a Norman Rockwell painting. Owners Don and Karen were gracious hosts, helping us all evening long with whatever we needed and feeding our hungry bellies with delicious food made by Karen herself.

Angie Atkinson Jim Schwartz Black Eyed Susan Acoustic Cafe

We also got treated to Jim Schwartz, a local musician who kicks off the music weekends at the cafe. He was so delightful...his whimsical set and charming conversation after were among my favorite parts of this tour so far.

Can't wait to go back the next time we're in the area.

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