Old Crow Medicine Show star remembers getting start at The Little Grill

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Little Grill has been a part of the Harrisonburg Community for decades and has played a big role Harrisonburg’s local music scene. Ketch Secor, the frontman for Old Crow Medicine Show and a Harrisonburg native, got his start playing there.

Back on September 13, The Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg announced that it could no longer operate in its current form and would be closing temporarily to look for a solution.

“As a musician, I owe a lot to the Little Grill for creating a stage where local talent in the Shenandoah Valley could get together. I think I was probably 14 the first time I ever stood on the stage in the corner there during open mic night,” said Secor.

Secor credits the Little Grill for the way it connected people and gave those from many different backgrounds a place to come together to play and enjoy music.

“Young people, old people, folks from all around the community who had an instrument and a song to share. I really applaud the grill for creating that kind of environment where music could thrive,” said Secor.

Secor said that the Little Grill played a big part in his early days as a musician.

“Being a kid in Harrisonburg in the 80s and early 90s there weren’t a lot of opportunities for somebody like me to really hone my craft. But the Little Grill gave more than just an opportunity to play music, it was also a place to interact with the community,” he said.

Secor said he has fond memories of spending time at the grill with his friend Critter Fuqua who is also a Harrisonburg native and former member of Old Crow Medicine Show.

“When Critter and I would show up at The Grill, we’d wash dishes or we’d just hang out all day and drink coffee. But the cast of characters that Ron Copeland (the former owner of The Little Grill) brought together was just such a beautiful spectrum of humanity,” said Secor.

Secor said he was saddened to see that The Little Grill is facing an uncertain future and hopes to help it remain open however he can.

“It’s heartbreaking to me to think that there would be a Harrisonburg without The Little Grill in it. I really hope that the Rockingham County community can pitch in to make sure that this longheld dream doesn’t have to end,” he said.

WHSV reached out to The Little Grill’s worker-owners for comment on Monday.

They said that they are meeting with advisors this week to figure out a plan on how to move forward but could not provide further comment until the plans are finalized.