On winter days my friends and I kept a close eye on the thermometer studying the stats like the scores in a ball game. Below freezing for a few days? Then time to cruise along Canal Road or out to Swain's Lock to check out how thick the ice was for skating. And in summer you could rent a row boat or a canoe.
Our canal has been around since George Washington wanted to float things upriver in 1785. After much hemming and hawing, ground breaking finally happened July 4, 1828, replete with John Quincy Adams attending, but the project was a goner from the git go. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad would reach Cumberland first demoting the canal to obsolete though it took quite a while to wind down.
The C & O Canal also strikes a chord with former hometown boys Eric Brace and Peter Cooper- so much so they named their latest project after it. The album is a tribute to this area's rich vein of songwriting and music clubs and covers a lot of local history- geographical as well as social. Emmy Lou Harris, Bill Danoff, the Seldom Scene and the Rosslyn Mountain Boys are all represented bringing back memories of places like the Red Fox Inn, Gallagher's, the Cellar Door and the Birchmere. All scenes where Eric and Peter found their spark. Come see what it's all about at their CD release party at Jammin Java this Friday. All ages $15.