We meet at the Waffle House. Behold the brown and orange seats, the slippery booths, the jukebox, the clock sporting the name of the place.
Yeah, we're on Waffle House time.
Moriah Haven Lawson, founder of modern Bluegrass trio Sassy Molasses (providing vocals, mandolin, violin, guitar and songwriting), chose the meeting place.
"We country folk feel at home there," she says.
Also a photo tech, Lawson has her nose pierced and wears big, cat-eyeish glasses with brown rims. Her hair is auburn, choppy and short, with long, jagged pieces on the left.
Side bangs. She wears a thick belt and tight jeans. Her necklace is large and round. An Om symbol? No one’s sure.
Lawson's incredibly long eyelashes stand out. When she talks, the lashes rise and fall like handheld fans, sporadically covering her big eyes, brushing her cheeks. She's a well-known mandolin virtuoso with real talent. She can pick up any instrument and play it and her voice is clear and natural, full of soul.
Lawson's originally from Jacksonburg, a tiny speck of a town in Butler County.
"I guess I'm pretty country," she says. "I never have shoes on at shows."
There was always music in her house. A family thing. At 9 years old, Lawson picked up guitar, then mandolin at 14.
"It just makes sense to me … something about the sound of it," she says of her introduction to mandolin. "The first night I had it, I wrote a song. I was infatuated right away."
Sassy Molasses plays Covington's Leapin' Lizard Gallery Sunday. Go here to read C.A. MacConnell's full interview.