Spaghetti Western (NC)

They hit the skids outside Nashville and turned back to mountain music.
Photo by Marco Costanzo

“The guys in the band won’t believe it,” declares Pastor Phillip Trees. He’s the founder of the Feed and Seed venue in Fletcher, which hosts La Terza Classe, a folk band from Italy, on November 8. “They’re from Naples, Italy. But we’ve got a Naples just on the other side of the interstate. It’s the next town over from Fletcher.”

Feed and Seed will serve a spaghetti dinner before the show to make the band members feel right at home. “It’s the first time we’ve ever had a dinner, so we’re not really experienced on the food meter,” Trees admits. “But I love spaghetti, so I had to do that. Italian spaghetti with sweet tea, and ice cream for dessert. It’ll be so fun.” 

The fact that serving food gives new meaning to the name Feed and Seed isn’t lost on Trees, either. “I’m playing off of things and it all matches up, so the story writes itself.” The plot thickens like pasta sauce, though, because La Terza Classe has a quirky and serendipitous story of its own. 

The band, formed in 2012, plays lots of American-inspired old time and bluegrass roots music, as well as traditional American folk songs. They perform raucous Italian-accented versions of  “John Henry” and “Nine Pound Hammer,” plus authentic tunes like “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Lonesome Valley.” After touring Europe, they traveled to the United States about four years ago to explore the origins of those songs … and made a beeline for Nashville, Tenn. But a few miles outside of the city their van broke down. 

While they were on the side of the road, a neighborly fellow who is also a musician stopped and offered them a ride, and they struck up an immediate friendship. As fate would have it, the Good Samaritan was Nashville celebrity Jim Lauderdale. He’s won two-time Grammy awards for bluegrass music and recorded an Americana album that was Grammy nominated. Lauderdale helped fuel the Americana roots music revival of the 1990s, and as soon as he and La Terza Classe got to Nashville, he fueled their success by booking them on the nationally televised show “Music City Roots.”

Later, an Italian movie director captured their story of making it in America in a documentary appropriately titled Flat Tyre. The film debuted at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. (The circle is intact.)

La Terza Classe performs at Feed and Seed (3715 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher) on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7pm. A spaghetti dinner will be served at 5:30pm. $10 donation at the door. For more info, visit feedandseednc.com

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