It’s freezing outside, but the warm hospitality and great food at Rob Neukirch’s Oddfella’s Cantina has captured our hearts. While we eat roast duck, Rob and a trio of local musicians are filling the place with joyful sounds.
The group above consists of Chris Luster on bass, Rob Neukirch at the microphone, Abraham Goorskey on mandolin and Bernie Coveney at the far right on guitar. Bernie Coveney played with Emmy Lou Harris for several years.
They played selections ranging from Route 66 and Tipsy Gypsy, to original compositions like Young Ladies I Used to Know.
We can thank the 1987 Northridge earthquake for giving our host the necessary nudge to move from Playa Del Rey, in sunny southern california to the one stoplight town of Floyd, in southern Virginia.
Rob, a former actor, is a singer/songwriter/restauranteer who provides a weekly venue for live music and poetry at his colorful restaurant at the intersection of routes 8 and 221.
The groups I’ve heard at Oddfella’s have shown an effortless ability to entertain without overwhelming. Their phrasing and talent has been a welcome relief from the barrage of sound that passes for music in some venues.
The audience had some sleepers. A woman at a nearby table was persuaded to sing with the group and she was belting out songs in a matter of moments. Her name is Sallie Walker and when she is not running a nearby coffee house, she sings with a group called, Diva and the G Strings.