Bonifant Street and Quarry House Tavern both serve as subject matters in your latest album. What exactly about these Silver Spring locations inspires you to write music?
Bonifant Street is probably my favorite part of Silver Spring. It's the only place I know what you can find a gun shop across the street from a bank. Fenton Village in general is this wonderful, little kitschy corner of Silver Spring that has avoided the “revitalization” that's graced the rest of the town with chain restaurants and corporate art. On this block, you'll find a church thrift store where I found my favorite pair of jeans, a old fortune teller lady who makes her own incense, a used bookstore, an Ethiopian coffee shop ... the best damned Thai restaurant I can think of … and at the very end, on the corner of Georgia [Avenue], you'll find the Quarry House Tavern, thirteen steps below the street. I cut my teeth playing blues there. I played the third Wednesday of every month, from 9 to midnight. This place is the definition of a dive bar – greasy food, cheap beer, and a lot of fun stories. I don't play there as much now, and when I do, I'm usually opening up for one of the rockabilly bands they have on Saturday nights. But when I do, I always publicize the event with "Silver Spring's Own Comes Back Home.” Your feet stick to the floor in that place, but they sure as hell take care of you.
Unfortunately Silver Spring's "revitaliztion" is making its way to Fenton Village. The writing is on the wall for the church thrift shop and fortune teller and most likely several other businesses on Bonifant (especially if the surface Purple Line light-rail transit gets routed down that block of Bonifant). Over on Thayer the important 1946 structure that housed Roadhouse Oldies is coming down this week.
I urge you and anyone else who loves the REAL downtown Silver Spring to help us save what is left of it before developers tear it all down and turn us into Bethesda.
Jerry A. McCoy
Silver Spring Historical Society
hey man, that's really good.
I dig yer slide style.
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