I was driving down Clinton Highway on the way to Knoxville when I passed a place whose sign read “Cas Walker merchandise,” so I pulled in. This is Ciderville, a combination music store, concert hall, and the closest thing there is to a Cas Walker Museum. Presiding behind the counter was Faye West, the sister of owner David West.
The store is filled with all manner of accoustic instruments; you could outfit all manner of bluegrass bands here. The owners claim that at one time they sold more Martin guitars than anywhere else in the country. I saw one with a price tag of $2,500 and a sign that said “no jamming on this guitar.”
Live music comes to Ciderville several times a week. The first Friday of every month is a jam session, and concerts take place every Saturday night. Ciderville is also famous locally for “Soup Day” held at lunchtime every Thursday. Free vegetable soup is served, and the music rolls on until suppertime or thereabouts. “It’s Republican soup,” explained one employee. “If it were Democrat soup, it’d have meat in it.”
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