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Iron Horse carries a big lode of music

A trip to Tarpon Springs doesn't have to mean fun only for your stomach with a romp through the local Greek eateries.

Your ears can have a good time, too, at the Iron Horse, a one-time railroad depot transformed almost three years ago into a venue for acoustic musicians and other artists.

"I love this place," said Lee Hunter of the Jacksonville duo Tory Voodoo.

Hunter and her partner, Arvid Smith, brought their blend of Celtic-influenced music to the Iron Horse on a recent Friday night.

Their voices and sounds from a collection of instruments, including guitars and conga drums, filled the Iron Horse from its plank floors to its high metal roof.

Since its beginning, the Iron Horse has been filled with the sounds of blues, folk, jazz and classical music. Not to mention Texas swing, Irish, country, light rock and bluegrass tunes.

The depot-turned-concert hall got its start in December 1991 when Jack Roseman, president of the Tarpon Springs Main Street Association, and a friend sponsored an open mike night there.

They invited musicians to perform and used a rented sound system and borrowed tables and chairs to stage the event.

Now, artists come from around the country to perform at the downtown club, a volunteer-operated, not-for-profit venture of the city's Main Street Association. The Iron Horse seats about 100 people and serves gourmet coffees and herbal teas instead of alcohol. Tickets range from $6 to $10.

The Iron Horse "really brings a lot of different kinds of people together," Roseman said. It also brings in a lot of different kinds of events.

This weekend at the Iron Horse, a workshop on women's mythology will explore the feminine in myth, fairy tale and legend.

The workshop costs $40 and will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The weekend culminates at 3 p.m. Sunday with a fashion show of ancient feminine images. The fashion show costs $3. For information, call Aphrodite Kambos at 934-5037.

IF YOU GO

The Iron Horse is at 166 E Tarpon Ave. at Safford and Tarpon avenues. For information, call 943-8016.

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