The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

March 6, 2014

There’s more to do at the Village Trough

BEREA — “I wish there was more to do here.”

Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?

Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.

The Trough’s predecessor, The Black Feather, was a popular hangout, restaurant and entertainment venue. The Village Trough is in the same location, 216 Adams St., just off Broadway in Old Town Berea.

Tonight, a potluck starts at 6 p.m. with Andrew James Miller of Berea taking the stage  at 7 p.m. with his folk and blues guitar and vocals followed by The Holler Honeys with their “East Tennessee Americana” style of music. A $5 donation is suggested.

While the Trough hasn’t celebrated a grand opening yet, it has been booking talent and putting on shows. A full opening is just around the corner when the Trough will also serve food as well as staging musical acts.

“The Village Trough is owned and operated by six worker-owners (the owners are the only people working there),” according to Brett Hetzell, one of the six.

Operating as a music venue since December, the Trough has booked many local bands as well as a few traveling performers. So far, the Trough has booked local band Climaxx, a group that calls its style “newgrass” and an Appalachian performer who goes by the name “Cornbred."

The Trough also has seen DJ appearances by DJ Spellbinder. The establishment has hosted performers from California to Indiana, Hetzell said. One visiting group, Traveling Broke and Out of Gas, pulled up in a big school bus that had been converted to run on veggie oil.

One of tonight’s performers expects to leave the area in the near future.

“Lately I’m limited by financial and transportation considerations, and due to this I will be relocating to Missouri for a few months,” Miller said. “Currently, I make rap beats for local artists and give guitar lessons.”

The Holler Honeys is two ladies, Ashlee Correll-Green and Traci Cochran, who have been playing together for 12 years but decided just six months ago to work on a project and become the Honeys.

Both grew up playing piano, they said. Traci over time has picked up four other instruments and now has settled with mainly the guitar and mandolin. Ashlee, along with playing the piano, took vocal lessons growing up and now plays the mandolin as well.

The ladies have what they call an acoustic rock and folk-like sound but would best describe it by calling it Americana. The two said they plan to perform two of their new songs tonight: “Hole” and “Over.” Traci, the lead writer, said “Hole” is made to relate to relationship problems while “Over” is more of a song that shows anger, even rage.

Traci said that although she leads in writing, Ashlee has started writing as well.

“Writing together is kind of a new thing,” Traci said. “But we hope to continue as we work on our first CD.” 

The Holler Honeys played together for the first time at the River Roo Festival in Sneedville, Tenn., their hometown. They called the experience “a sign” that they were headed in the right direction, especially because people at the festival loved their performance. The ladies appreciate the support they get, whether it comes from their hometown or fans on the road.

“We just want the people to know we are really invested in Berea and really want to highlight the local music as well as become a community gathering spot,” said Ali Blair, another of the worker-owners of the Village Trough.

The Trough’s later acts will be the Jeff Richey Experience, a local rock and soul artist who will be playing a few of his originals March 21. A Knoxville band called “Hudson K” will make an April 4 appearance at the Trough.

The Village Trough is listed on Reverbnation, a website through which performers can be contacted to book a gig. Fans and others also can contact The Holler Honeys and like them on their Facebook page.

Don’t lay around wishing there was more to do just go do it.

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