Want to go?
WHEN: Tuesdays from 6:30-9 p.m.
WHERE: Belle Town Hall, 1100 East DuPont Ave., Belle, W.Va.
BELLE, W.Va. -- The steady pitch of bluegrass music could be heard from the street as locals fiddled the night away in the small riverside town of Belle.
Musicians from across the state trekked to the town hall -- like they do every Tuesday -- for a live celebration of old-fashion bluegrass, gospel and country music. Fiddlers, mandolin and dobro players smiled and laughed their way through a song, an impromptu jaunt back in time.
MusicFest just "keeps getting bigger," said Belle Mayor Glen "Buck" Chestnut, who decided to energize the sleepy town and better use the town hall after he was elected.
"I asked my brother if he knew any good pickers and he asked some people who asked some people who got this going," the mayor said.
The organic flow of gospel, bluegrass and country music, which varies from week to week, has no clear leader. Musicians take turns to whittle out their favorite tune while others back them up.
About eight or 10 musicians showed up that first Tuesday. Each week, more people turn up to see what all the fuss is about.
"Who wouldn't want to come listen to some good music?" said Belle resident and retired railroad worker Roger Hindle.
Fellow retiree Billy Holstein agreed. "I like this pickin' and grinnin'," he said. "Makes me smile."
Bluegrass music still moves the town of just more than 1,200 residents, including 85-year-old Betty Harris, who has been known to get up and dance if the music moves her.
"Oh she'll put on a show," Belle councilwoman Kay Asbury said of Harris with a smile. "Watch out."
Asbury, who has lived in Belle for 70 years, said she makes it to most of the free shows.
"I never really did like bluegrass music -- my husband loves it -- but I couldn't believe what these guys can do. They're great. I can't believe they come from all over to here for free, but I guess it's because they've got the music in their hearts," Asbury said.
Asbury, who "can't read a note," said watching the musicians jump into a song is amazing. "One guy will say, 'OK, this is in the key of D' and everyone will start playing. They just know those old bluegrass songs," she said.
Banjo picker and Belle resident PeeWee Hobbs said that is not always the case, though.