Red Tail Barn opens near Barboursville, hosting everything from weddings to live music – Huntington Herald Dispatch

Red Tail Barn opens near Barboursville, hosting everything from weddings to live music – Huntington Herald Dispatch

Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 51F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph..
Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 51F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: April 21, 2022 @ 6:45 pm
The Red Tail Barn is located at 6815 County Road 19/3, Huntington, off Merritts Creek Road near Pump Up The Fun in Barboursville.

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The Red Tail Barn is located at 6815 County Road 19/3, Huntington, off Merritts Creek Road near Pump Up The Fun in Barboursville.
BARBOURSVILLE — Michelle Caldwell and her husband, Grub Caldwell, have always loved live music. Through the years, they have proven that by hosting house concerts and benefit shows at their place in Barboursville.
For up-and-coming musicians, as well as the occasional established artist, an afternoon house concert can be a way to make extra gas money while getting a good night’s sleep and a hearty meal before returning to life on the road.
One day about a year ago, the Caldwells’ new neighbor told them he was about to tear down an old barn on his property. The timing proved to be serendipitous.
“The story begins a couple of years ago when we started doing house concerts right before the COVID pandemic hit,” said Michelle Caldwell. “We enjoyed hosting traveling musicians that would come through town who wanted to play in our living room on one of their off nights or a Sunday afternoon. People would pitch in money for the show and bring food, with all the money going to the musicians. Then, on a Saturday, we talked about hosting music on a larger scale and a friend said that we needed a barn or some kind of bigger building to make that happen. The following Monday morning, our new neighbor comes over and says he is going to tear his old barn down and we said, ‘What do you want for it?’ He says, ‘You can have it.’”
After closer inspection, they found the old barn was made in the 1800s out of American chestnut — a rarity.
Once the neighbor made the offer, he suggested that the Caldwells seek out expert Amish barn builders he knew in Ohio. Soon, the Caldwells paid to have the old barn torn down and a new one built on their property. The inside of the repurposed edifice would be made of the American chestnut, while the outside was made of hickory. The Amish artisans worked quickly, and soon the Caldwells had their venue.
Because of their location, which is close to the Ohio River, a lot of birds choose to nest on the Caldwell property or nearby, including an American eagle. Another big bird of prey that nests nearby is a red tail hawk, hence the name of the Red Tail Barn venue.
On Saturday, April 23, the Red Tail Barn will host a concert by the classic rock band Burning Ridge beginning at 7 p.m.
Opening the show will be country music singer and songwriter Chalmer Elkins. The cover charge for this concert will be cash donations. Coolers are welcome at the venue, which is located at 6815 County Road 19/3 near Huntington, located off Merritts Creek Road near Pump Up The Fun in Barboursville.
In addition, local musicians are invited to participate in an acoustic jam in the Red Tail Barn after the show.
Helping to book the music into the new Red Tail Barn venue is veteran Nashville musician Adam Bieniek. A native of the Wheeling area, Bieniek’s musical journey led him to Florida for a while and then to a stint in Nashville performing for the Tootsie’s venue. A graduate of Marshall University, he eventually moved back to Huntington and currently plays in the band Rusty Souls.
“When I was in Nashville working and playing for the folks at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, they teach you how to work a crowd and what you should and shouldn’t say onstage,” said Bieniek. “It was a great experience to play with a bunch of entertainers like you find in Nashville, and I got to know so many musicians who play in all of those Lower Broadway honky tonks. I was fortunate to be a part of the Tootsie’s family, which owns four different bars down there. I had several different stages to play on and they would shuffle us around. I’d get a call saying, ‘OK, you’re going to play 2 to 6 p.m. on the third floor of Rippy’s,’ or, ‘You are going to play 6 to 10 p.m. tonight on the stage on the second floor at the Honky Tonk Central venue.’ You showed up and played your shift and made your money and had a good time. They gave you a base pay, but you were working for tips down there, for sure. But it was cool. It was a neat learning experience.”
As for the Red Tail Barn, Bieniek sees possibilities for the space.
“While the place has big potential as a wedding and reception hall and all that goes with that, the Caldwells have a giant passion for music,” said Bieniek. “I just love what they did with the place, with all of that old chestnut wood, and the inside of it looks gorgeous. I told them, ‘Man, we could turn this into a niche place out here where folks can come and do some line dancing and swing dancing with a good band up there playing.’ We played the first show ever out there last month with the St. Paddy’s Shindig and we put the band in the corner and gave the people enough room to dance and, believe it or not, we had a ton of people up there cutting the rug.”
For more information on upcoming live music shows or to rent the Red Tail Barn venue, go to www.facebook.com/RedTailBarn or call 304-208-5270.
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