CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charlie McCoy has earned the right to be called a legendary musician.
He's also earned the right to winter in Florida, where he does at least bring his harmonica along for the handful of concerts he'll play while relaxing near the beach.
"It's a perk of old age," he said.
Friday night, Charleston can enjoy a perk of claiming McCoy as a native son — he'll take the stage for a Live on the Levee FestivALL performance, one of about 30 dates he'll play this year, many of them overseas.
"I've been blessed more than I deserve," the native of Fayette County said.
McCoy, 72, will open for old friend and fellow West Virginia native Kathy Mattea and says he'll join her for a song or two.
"It's gonna be fun to open for Kathy," he said. "I played on some of her early records."
Both have called Nashville home for many years, since they moved — obviously in different decades — to pursue the dream.
For McCoy, the music took a turn early on. He started out as a rock guitarist, then discovered bluegrass and fell in love.
"Things happen for the right reason, even though at the moment you don't understand it," he said. Although he had learned harmonica as a boy, he didn't have it with him when he arrived in Nashville at 19.
Reality hit right away.
"I heard 50 guitar players that I couldn't carry their pick — and a lot of them were out of work," he said. "So I went back to instrument No. 1."
McCoy understood supply and demand, and there was a lot more demand for a harmonica player than for a guitarist.