- by Tom Dumarey
On his new album, 'Where The Valley Kissed The Sky,' singer-songwriter Mike Frazier explores how there can be room for a lot of different ways of life in one relatively small area and how that culture clash is a microcosm of what’s happening all across the US. The small area he sings about is the Shenandoah Valley in western Virginia, a beautiful place that is full of different kinds of communities that range from very rural to a super progressive college town. Frazier already covers the political and human angles on 'Where The Valley Kissed The Sky'. We asked him about the other stuff.
'Where The Valley Kissed The Sky' will be out May 31 via Geneva Records (pre-order).
PRT: What made you first fall in love with the area?
Mike: Watching the blood orange sunsets over the western side of the state. I also lived down in Harrisonburg, VA where I was working on a farm along The Shenandoah River. It was in a beautiful location and in the mornings I would watch the sun rise and extinguish the fog that covered the dewy fields.
PRT: If you had to come up with a marketing slogan for the area, what would it be?
Mike: I can’t think of anything better than the current slogan - “Virginia Is For Lovers”
PRT: Best place to play?
Mike: Bright Box in Winchester, and Golden Pony in Harrisonburg. Also Hopscotch Coffee and Records in Winchester. They’ve all been really integral in building a solid scene throughout the valley.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night drink after the show?
Mike: Cork Street, Piccadilly Brew Pub or 147. You can find me at any of those most nights.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night snack after the drink after the show?
Mike: Definitely Benny’s Pizza. There’s not a ton of local late night food so another honorable mention is Waffle House. Also known as The Waffle Home by some.
PRT: Best touristy thing to do in the area?
Mike: Shenandoah National Park in the Fall. You simply cannot beat it.
PRT: Best hidden spot in the area?
Mike: Not really hidden but it’s a trek. There’s a waterfall called White Oak Canyon. It’s located in the central part of the valley on the Appalachian side of the mountains. You can swim at the bottom and do some cliff jumping, but be warned the water is cold as ice!
PRT: One thing you would like to see changed in the area?
Mike: More funding for public schools, and more help for those battling addiction. Also a statue of Patsy Cline in my home town.
PRT: What's your best memory about the area?
Mike: Falling in love with my best friend!!
PRT: Where in the area did you get your heart broken?
Mike: Somewhere on Senseny Road out by Clark County.
PRT: Is there a historical fact about your area that makes you chuckle?
Mike: Winchester has the worlds largest fireman’s parade. Lol.
PRT: Favorite song about your area you'd like to share, either yours or someone else's?
Mike: A few to listen to would be...
“Spiritless Machine” - Dogwood Tales
“Blue Ridge Mountains” - Townes Van Zandt
“Black Widow Woman” - Gallows Bound