Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Top Five Reasons to Visit The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount

If you have not heard The Harvester Performance Center is Virginia's latest and greatest music venue located right here in Rocky Mount. The singers, songwriters, and musicians themselves  love the state of the art sound.

1) Small venue, seats up to 400 people only. This means every seat is a good one. Midweek shows are more intimate, less crowded than Friday or Saturday nights. Yet midweek there is still some great performances in the line up. (See it here)

2) State of the Art Sound. There is not one big speaker set up on the stage blasting away. The sound system is ideal as there are sets of speakers mounted to the exposed beam ceiling that continue all the way to the back. Sit in the back row and enjoy great sound.

3) Gary Jackson is the man. Well respected in the music industry, he is scheduling hundreds of incredible acts from far and wide to play at The Harvester. When Gary speaks, they listen. These are top artists in their field.

Since The Harvester opened in April we have seen: The Wailers, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Indigo Girls, Ty Herndon, The Black Lillies, Dave Mason's Traffic Jam, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dave Mayfield Parade, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Douglas, The Embers, Smithereens, Eddie from Ohio, Lonesome River Band, Jake Shimabukuro, Milk Carton Kids, Restless Heart, Chris Smither ...just to name a few. Seriously, these are just a few that we have had play The Harvester.

4) Affordable tickets prices. We pay double these rates to see "a performance" in nearby Roanoke, in a huge venue with uncomfortable seats and poor sound and view. We have so many great shows it is hard to choose how many we can or cannot go to!

I cannot express how amazing this new venue is and why you should come on over to Rocky Mount and check it out. At times I am discovering opening acts that I can't get out of my head, like This Mountain who opened for The Black Lillies, they were out of this world. Americana meets Pink Floyd, or something like that, as I cannot describe them effectively, but they rock. Some of the shows are just $10-$20 for a whole evening of live entertainment.  

5) Walk to this super newfangled venue from The Claiborne House B&B. This means you can park it here and have a drink or two and enjoy the show. The venue has an ABC license for beer and wine, and serves light food in their concessions. (Save $10 by booking your room online here and entering the code BOOKONLINE).

As you can see I took all these photos from various shows at The Harvester myself borrowing Tony's android phone. You are up close and personal at this amazing music venue here in Rocky Mount. I would hate for you to miss it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Want Whatever She's Got - David Nail Plays Rocky Mount

David Nail plays The Harvester Performance Center here in Rocky Mount Virginia Thursday November 6, 2014 Y'all!

Walk to this show from The Claiborne House B&B. Buy your tickets online here at The Harvester: David Nail's "I'm a Fire Tour" on November 6th...Watch the World Tour Video. Pre-Sale starts Wednesday at 10am at or call the Box Office 540-GUITARS! Book your room at The Claiborne House B&B online here and save $10 by entering the code BOOKONLINE.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Free Shipping from The Claiborne House B&B

When you stay at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast your purchase will now include FREE SHIPPING!
The Love Shack at The Claiborne House B&B
"What does this mean exactly, aren't you a bed and breakfast?" You ask.
Why yes, we are. What this means is when you stay with us and wish to go to a show at our spankin' new amazing best music venue in Virginia Harvester Performance Center, you can park it here and walk to the show! This equals free shipping. Yes, really, no fuel used to get to the venue from, The Claiborne House, fuel costs money, cars costs money.

That is our special offer to you:

We walk to The Harvester Performance Center ourselves, here is a Google Map showing you in footsteps how far it is, and how long it takes to walk it.

Just a 5 minute walk .3 of a mile  
Here is the current lineup at The Harvester, new shows are added weekly, so click the link for details one each show and check back soon.

2 Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash - FREE SHOW!
2 The Lost and Found
5 The Bacon Brothers (Kevin Bacon & Michael Bacon)
6 The Mavericks
7 Fantastic Shakers
9 Songs of Water
10 FireFall
13 Sammy Arriaga
13 Tab Benoit
15 Desert Rose Band - Acoustic Concert
20 Crooked Road Ramblers
21 North Tower
29 7eventh Time Down
3 Erynn Marshall & Carl Jones
4 The Legacy Motown Revue
5 Corey Hunley & The Millionaires & The Rutledge Band
9 Asleep at the Wheel
10 Kris Allen
11 Marshall Tucker Band
12 Justin Townes Earle (w/ Full Band) & American Aquarium
13 Livingston Taylor
16 Byrne and Kelly
17 Mark Campbell and Mac Traynham
17 Gary Puckett & Union Gap
18 The Holiday Band
19 Scott Miller
20 Shawn McDonald
20 Ricky Nelson Remembered starring Matthew & Gunnar Nelson
24 Seán Keane
25 Sons of Bill
26 BoDeans w/ Honor by August
27 Atlanta Rhythm Section
2 The Entertainers
4 The Duhks
7 Judah & The Lion
8 Jars of Clay
9 An Evening with Logan Brill & Rob Baird
10 An Evening With Noam Pikelny & Stuart Duncan
11 David Wax Museum
15 Dom Flemons “The American Songster” (from Carolina Chocolate Drops)
16 Band of Oz
16 Kim Richey
17 Love Canon
18 The Crooked Road Theme Show
18 Paul Thorn
23 Todd Snider w/ Elizabeth Cook
25 David Mayfield Parade
30 Sam Bush
31 Marty Stuart
1 Matuto
6 The Embers featuring Craig Woolard
6 David Nail
7 The Farewell Drifters
14 Chris Knight w/ full band
15 The Boxcars
16 John Hammond
22 Eclectic Guitar Featuring: Eric Johnson & Mike Stern
4 Fantastic Shakers
7 Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone (Afternoon Show)
7 An Evening with Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
13 The Embers (A Special Christmas Concert)
18 North Tower
26 Peaches & Herb w/ Groova Scape
20 Don McLean

Friday, July 25, 2014

"There's the door use it" they said and pointed to it

This is what happens if you ask for ketchup at the Texas Tavern in downtown Roanoke:


Or, as I found out when my friend Maureen and I went there and I asked for hot sauce, such as Texas Pete for my "chile."

A sign you will see while sitting at the counter at the Texas Tavern in Downtown Roanoke:


My good friend Maureen was visiting us at The Claiborne House B&B and has already flown back to Seattle and I am missing her today. We made some great memories together this week. I am truly blessed.

Sometimes the smallest things like being shown the door if you ask for ketchup can be a fond memory. I hope you can spend time with friends and family and build a bank of fun memories to draw on when times gets tough, or when you least expect it. They help create who we are, and how we act and think. To sweet huggable Maureen, now that it has been over 12 years since we last saw each other, and perhaps we are a wee bit older, I can quote a song from an "older" show:

Thank you for being a friend.
Travel down the road and back again.
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant.

And if you threw a party, invited everyone you knew.
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
and the card attached would say,
thank you for being a friend. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Perceptions of Bed and Breakfasts

One thing I have heard many times from our first time B&B guests is that they believed all the hype on TV shows about B&B's. 
This non-lackluster non-humdrum and certainly not bland innkeeper nearly drove to the end of the earth to get this photo for her guests!
They thought:
  1. They had to share a bathroom with strangers
  2. There would be fluffy bunnies and teddy bears all over their bed
  3. The owner would hover and be in their business
  4. They would have a curfew
  5. The Inn would smell of oldness and be a granny's house
  6. They would have to sit and chat with strangers at breakfast
  7. They would encounter snobby boring people
I am here to set the story straight! Now while The Claiborne House B&B is not the average bed and breakfast, and in fact if you visit our About Us page you will read:

We've decided we don’t want to be “run-of-the-mill”
adjective. 1. lacking unusual or special aspects; ordinary.

synonyms: ordinary, average, middle-of-the-road, commonplace, humdrum, mundane, standard, nondescript, characterless, conventional; unremarkable, unexceptional, uninteresting, dull, boring, routine, bland, lackluster, uninvolving, garden-variety;
Check out the Chadwicks here at the pond on their 1 year anniversary with a pic-a-nic and a personalized list of unique places to innjoy their picnic!
So allow me explain point by point why we are not garden-variety:

1) They had to share a bathroom with strangers
                 None of our guest rooms have a shared bathroom, we as innkeepers don't even share a bathroom, well I do with Tony, but then that is from 25 years of marriage, so we are kinda used to it! Oddly enough some guests act like they are expecting shared bathrooms, so maybe I should toss a spare toothbrush in their bathroom which is inside their room and help the stigma along!
2) There would be fluffy bunnies and teddy bears all over their bed
                  There are no fluffy bunnies or any other stuffed anything in your guest room. Nothing fluffy will touch your bed, unless you want it to!
3) The owner would hover and be in their business
                 We don't want to be in your business, at all, this is your getaway so you do your thang! If you need anything just let us know, we're here! We have a bell you can ring and like Jeeves the Butler we will magically appear! We won't hover, we hate hovering, we never liked teachers who hovered over us at school, and for that we are not helo-hovering fluttering in and out of your stay innkeepers!

4) They would have a curfew
              When you check-in we give you the door code, then you come and go at your leisure. No one will be waiting up for you, I guarantee it! We are too tired from up at o-dark hundred to bother waiting up for you. 

5) The Inn would smell of oldness and be a granny's house
             Unfortunately funky smells are a part of old houses, you know this is a circa 1895 Queen Anne Victorian? "If walls could talk" and all that. I had heard storied of chickens being reared in one room. So the house has been loving restored and renovated, but summertime in Virginia at times equates to humidity, with humidity brings the rise of weirdness in people and places. This is why we have the A/C on from Summer til Fall. Yes we have central HVAC (except in the Wash House Cottage aka The Love Shack, as it has its own unit you can set however you wish.)

            You actually won't encounter any chicken smells. You won't encounter any granny smells either, unless of course you are a granny. No offense to the granny's and metholyptus-goodness.

6) They would have to sit and chat with strangers at breakfast
             Part of a B&B is actually being around other people, unless you don't want to be. So for that I will give you this advice: The Wash House Cottage AND The Sierra Suite offer breakfast delivered to your door, this is what we have called "The Red Hot Lover's Breakfast" so you can stay in your PJ's or robe and have coffee and a home-cooked breakfast delivered. This is like room service only way better! For the rest of y'all, we have an open seating time most days from 8am to 9am so wander on down for breakfast. Will there be others there? Could be. Will you have to chat to them? Only if you want to.
7) They would encounter snobby boring people
            Unfortunately we cannot choose the guests who choose us, we can try, we can try to market to the fashionable, eccentric fun-loving people! Once in a while an accountant slips in, and sorry folks, accountants need getaways too! As I post this I see tax day is fastly approaching, so I will give the accountants a shout out! It can't be a very fun job. They are not in the entertainment industry, it takes a special kind of person to crunch numbers all day and deal with ratty angry customers.

            But having said that, we have the greatest guests. Our guests are here for all different reasons, we do not have a set "demographic" as such. We have every walk of life, and for that we as innkeepers are truly grateful! That is part of what makes owning a bed and breakfast fun! 

This is why I blog 
This is why I take photos and share off-the-beaten-track innteresting things to see and do when you stay with us. Do you know any other innkeeper who does this?

Now that I have helped cleared up those misconceptions, isn't it time for a blue ridge day y'all?