Poverty Line Old Time Band
Poverty Line began back in nineteen-dickety-two, in Timber Lake, South Dakota. Jimmy Fox was a ranch hand at the time, driving cattle across the plains from their summer to their winter pastures. It was rough work, and to keep himself from sinking into depression, he would play the guitar with no one to hear him but the cattle and the fierce prairie wind. One night at a local watering hole in Timber Lake called Shay's Saloon, Jimmy ran into a rough-and-tumble stranger carrying a suitcase and a banjo. This was Todd Giles. Todd had come from California where he had been laying rail for the Sierra line, but had soon grown fed up with slinging steel and left for greener pastures. It seems Todd had made quite a reputation for himself around the railroad camps as a poker player, and he decided to make his way east in search of opportunities to make money. Jimmy noticed Todd's banjo and bought him a whiskey. This fortuitous meeting was the beginning of a musical career. The two of them began playing poker, and soon Todd had all of Jimmy's money. Jimmy wasn't mad, though, because after they played poker, Todd would get out his banjo, and the two of them played their instruments together in the saloon all night long. Todd was enjoying himself, and even entertained the thought of staying in Timber Lake, but he had the poker player's itch. He was going east come hell or high water, and would Jimmy like to come along? Jimmy was tired of the lonely cattle-driving life, and had been enjoying playing his guitar for someone other than the cattle. He agreed to go east with Todd. So, the two of them set off for the east coast. Arriving in Boston, the two gentlemen were soon overwhelmed with city life. One night, while Todd was off playing poker, Jimmy visited a house of ill repute. There he received not only a strange rash, but the address of an Irish lass up the street who was a fiddle player. He went calling one day, and found Jess Fox. They were both amazed to find that they were distant cousins. He introduced her to Todd, and the three of them began playing together. The rest, as they say, is history.