This must be the place: Ode to the girl from the North Country, the one who loved horses

I first got word about Steph Wilkins while sitting in the kitchen at an old flame’s parents’ house in the small, desolate Adirondack Mountain town of Tupper Lake, New York. 

This must be the place: Ode to Paul McCartney, ode to being together again

Amid a brisk walk down Phillip Fulmer Way towards the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee, last Tuesday evening, I found myself quite possibly the last soul with ticket in-hand to enter the venue for the Paul McCartney concert.

This must be the place: Followin’ the stars through the honky-tonks and bars, dream away on a country music pride

Last Thursday afternoon. Downtown Waynesville. Rifling through a fresh load of laundry, I was beginning to sift through my clothes to figure out just what I needed for the weekend’s impending road trip to Maryland to cover yet again another music festival. 

This must be the place: Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own

Standing on the sidewalk, I leaned onto the open garage door window of Sauced in downtown Waynesville. Sunday evening right before the rainstorm rolled in. An array of the younger, service industry crowd finally sitting down to congregate and enjoy a beverage on their own time. 

This must be the place: It’s a wonderful world if you can put aside the sadness, and hang on to every ounce of beauty upon you

Although I had a press pass waiting for me at the box office of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville for rock legends Chicago on Sunday evening, I found myself stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 24 East just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

This must be the place: Every day it comes to this, catch the things you might have missed

Feeling a bit deflated lately. It’s funny how one thing just triggers everything else, this domino effect that tumbles and echoes throughout the infinite physical and emotional chambers of your body, mind and soul. And usually (seemingly) out of nowhere. 

This must be the place: Can I sing for my supper and play for my rent?

Standing on the massive main stage at the SweetWater 420 music festival in downtown Atlanta last Saturday afternoon, I hoisted the cold pale ale tallboy high into the air and saluted the moment at hand.

This must be the place: Every piece to the puzzle snaps tight in the groove

It was somewhere towards the end of Set One of Night Two of The String Cheese Incident’s gig at the sold-out Salvage Station in Asheville on Saturday evening when the jam-band icons went into its new song, “Into the Blue.” 

This must be the place: I know the journey’s long and I’m sure you’ll find your way

It was a couple miles beyond the Georgia/South Carolina border heading north on Interstate 95 when the highway sign blinked brightly: “Incident, Mile Marker 14.” Expected delays and brake lights just ahead. 

This must be the place: ‘Don’t deny that a rambler must always be free’

Hopping out of the 15-foot U-Haul truck last week, I reached for the gas pump and began fueling up the thirsty vehicle. It was Hieb’s Cenex gas station on Route 248 between the small town of Reliance, South Dakota (population: 128), and the bustling Interstate 90.

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