Many local micro-brewers offered their product at the event:
Piedmont & Durham area:
Catawba Valley Brewing Co.
Personally, I didn't find much I preferred. I don't like a heavy hopped beer, no bitterness, but I like pale ales. Of what was offered I mostly tried the vendor's "winter" beers, but settled for mostly the Sweetwater 420, the Yazoo, and the Highland beers.
When we had our fill, we troughed back to the Marriott to get the show tickets. It was freezing! We warmed there for a few minutes and then headed back toward the theater to Jeff.
The theater is a modern 500 seat proscenium theatre built in 1991. We were in the balcony and I had no place to firmly balance my pocket camera, so the photos of Jeff leave a little to be desired. However, you can click on his link above and see him. It look exactly the same.
Jeff Daniels is a musical storyteller and quite accomplished on the guitar. I was impressed with how he could continue to play with all five fingers, scan the audience, and tell his story at the same time. I might be able to do one or the other, but nothing close to him. He was enjoyable, but I think Gary was a little disappointed in the style of music. I think he wanted more upbeat bluesy music, like he I both like, so Jeff left him wanting more. For me, I was thoroughly entertained and was glad I didn't miss this opportunity to see him perform. Would I go again...probably not.
Judy and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and our traveling companions. We also enjoyed the detour trip along Highway 25/70 through Hot Springs, NC and on to I-26 and into Asheville. Intestate 40 has been closed over the mountain to Asheville, which is the normal route, for some time and will probably be closed through the summer due to rockslides. Coming back we took the I-26 to I-81 to I-40 route. Mileage wise it is longer that way, but with 70 mph speeds you can make more time that way. Unfortunately, it rained just about the whole way home. I had to be careful that I didn't hydroplane like a couple of unfortunate folks we saw.
Thanks Gary for coordinating this adventure...we were and are completely grateful for the invitation. Looking forward to future trips!
More photos of the trip on FLICKR!