Leaving Doc Watson early, I headed up State St. in a hurry, taking the sidewalk to avoid the crowd in the road. But I had to stop to listen to a few classics from a five-piece string band, sitting under the awning of Uncle Sam's Loan Office, in front of the display of old stereos and swords. Bunch of real old-timers. Pulled myself away only to pass by an even better, six-piece band in the entrance to The Gold Man pawn shop. The fiddle was played by a girl who couldn't be older than ten. I wanted to listen to them some more, but I managed to pull myself away in time to get into the Paramount and get a good seat for the Red Stick Ramblers.

Conclusion: This town needs more pawn shops. And it's Rhythm and Roots time in Bristol.

Best bands so far: Mike Marshall's trio, Cephas and Wiggins, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, Chatham County Line.