This Regional Weekend episode of Expressway Balladeer, I venture over the Cascades to the snowy town of Winthrop and perform at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery. While there, I got a call to sub for another artist the following day in Maple Valley to make this episode a double show doozie.

I heard a lot about Winthrop before heading up on January 29th. Everyone I talked to loved the little town and said that it was rebuilt like an old west village but not overdone like some touristy places. They mentioned it had a very natural feel to it. Sure enough, when I arrived it felt as natural as they said. There were wood sidewalks, western style buildings and some pretty cool shops to boot. It’s a beautiful place and that’s from seeing under a couple feet of snow. I look forward to returning and experiencing it in the spring or summer.

It was a full house in Old Schoolhouse Brewery for the show and a great crowd of folks from lots of places in Washington but only a few Winthrop locals. It feels like that kind of place. Lots of out-of-towners come through to enjoy the skiing in the area, along with the camping and hiking that can be done as well.

The next morning I headed back to the Seattle area to play at Vintage Vino and Espresso in Maple Valley. I’ve played there a couple of times last year so I was happy to return. It seems like every time I perform there something happens that I never would’ve expected. Last time the night turned into a karaoke thing with random people coming up to sing a cappella through my PA. This time I had a request for a slow dance encore and most everyone in the place found a partner to dance with before going home.

Fun times. I’ll be back at Vintage Vino and Espresso on March 19th so come on out if you can. Not sure when I’ll be back to Winthrop yet. Hopefully soon enough.

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