To get inspired to write this article, I sipped on a cup of joe and listened to “Poncho and Lefty”. There’s nothing like enjoying coffee and listening to a great song, and that’s exactly what the Third Street Coffeehouse has been providing for the last thirty years. Third Street is one of Virginia’s oldest continuing performance venues of its kind. As a non-profit, concerts are held with no cover, just with a simple “pass the hat” format. On April 22nd, this classic Roanoke songshop will celebrate a milestone anniversary with a Saturday night concert featuring nationally known act, Trifolkal, amongst many other local acts including Western Music Association recording artist, Aspen Black, and Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association president, Mike Franke.
Located in the basement of Trinity United Methodist Church, Third Street has hosted a range of local musicians and national touring acts, and has also been home to friendly open mics. Long-time Roanoke performer and music instructor Marc Baskind says, “I love to bring or direct students who have little or no experience performing in public to Third Street’s open mics–a huge step in their musical journey.” Bob Schmucker, a member of the board of directors at Third Street says, “For performers, it’s a great feeling to know that you’re playing to a receptive and friendly audience who are there for the music. It’s nice not have to play over a noisy bar scene, where over-served patrons often have no appreciation for the music or the rights of others to listen without major distractions.”