WANT TO GO?
Hobo Clay, with Kara Clark
WHERE: The Empty Glass, 410 Elizabeth St.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday
TICKETS: $7INFO: Call 304-345-3914 or visit www.emptyglass.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Harmonica player, vocalist and bandleader, Hobo Clay Swartz certainly looks the part. With a long white beard, tattered overalls and a straw hat, he looks like he could be on the next train to Albuquerque.
Hobo Clay, who performs Friday night with his band at The Empty Glass, doesn't think that's too likely. He doesn't jump trains, and he'd prefer to stay in town. Charleston, he said, has been good to him, and he'd like to play for his supper, if you don't mind.
The gazz spoke with this unusual performer, who has a growing following on the local music scene.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I went to grade school and middle school in Dunbar, then in high school went to Richwood, Morgantown and Doddridge schools. I moved around a lot. I stayed with my mother for a while, then my father, then my brother, and then an uncle.
After high school, I was mostly in the area. I did a lot of different jobs until I went to electronics school. Then I left Charleston for Ohio, where I repaired computers for 20 years.
The funny thing is I left West Virginia for Ohio to find a job, but 35 years later, I still had a reputation in Charleston as a handyman. I got a big painting job and that led to another job and then another. That was about five years ago.