Cider Mag Winter 2015 Issue 52 - Page 45

soned songwriter, musician, recovered drug addict, and semi-professional divorcee can. It makes sense, then, that this past July Steve Earle and the Dukes would perform in Rutland, VT, a town seen by many as the hub of the Northeast’s troubling drug trade. Dispassionately known by locals as Rut-Vegas, the small city lies at the intersection of two of the larger routes through the mostly rural state, and presents little more than gas stations and fast food restaurants to tourists on their way to ski destinations. Most passersby miss the downtown of Rutland, where large, proud, Victorian era buildings stand, reminders of the once bustling marble and slate trade that originally brought the area its growth. Built in 1914, the Paramount Theatre in downtown Rutland boasts a massive auditorium complete with a towering balcony, gilded decor, and thick velour curtains that hang over 100 feet high. But walk a few blocks from the Paramount, just over the mostly dormant train tracks, and you’ll find yourself in the part of town known as the Gut, where Victorian era homes crumble in neglect under the weight of a community-wide affliction with heroin. It’s a town that’s lost its honesty, that ign