The Martin Luther King Boulevard district of Chattanooga is deeply rooted in history and lately has become a musical district of sorts, with venues such as JJ’s Bohemia, The Honest Pint, Bessie Smith Hall and Midtown Music Hall offering diverse entertainment. Add Lindsay Street Music Hall to this list.
The hall opened last year in a beautiful old church located on the corner of Lindsay Street and MLK and hosts a variety of events, including live music shows, wedding receptions and corporate parties. As a nonprofit organization, the hall helps out the local music community by hosting educational programs for kids, showcasing new and upcoming artists and assists local musicians in promoting themselves and releasing albums. Part of the vision for the Lindsay Street Music Hall is to capture and archive the music history in Chattanooga so that future generations can check out how music influenced Chattanooga during a certain era.
The latest project emanating from the hall are the “Lindsay Street Hall Sessions,” also known as “Live at Lindsay Street,” a series of performances by local musicians being filmed for viewing next month on EPB’s FiTV Channel 200 and then available on video-on-demand, according to Ken Crisp, who founded the hall.
Recently, the program filmed its fourth and fifth installments, featuring Moon Slew, Keith Crisp, John Lathim and Ryan Oyer. I attended the filming of that showcase and was surprised at the turn out for the show—it was packed and everyone was enjoying the smooth acoustic sounds of the musicians.
“We try to go for an ‘Austin City Limits’ vibe,” says executive producer Jack Kirton, who produces each episode of “Live at Lindsay Street” and is also a musician in the band Endelouz.
You can almost feel the passion for music the founders have. Crisp says they discovered the church and were throwing around ideas on how to use the space and found that there was a great need in the community for the type of organization that Lindsay Street Music Hall has become.
“We had a great year and are even more excited about 2012,” says Crisp. “Especially our music project. Last year, we worked out the bugs while having some great shows and this year we will be really focused on not only having these great shows, but also filming and recording for TV as well as for the artists.”
Crisp and his crew want to help local and regional musicians develop marketing materials and demos to promote themselves and the rich musical heritage that has always existed in Chattanooga. It’s a wonderful thing that this organization is also helping local musicians release music through their co-op record program. Basically, if you are a musician and show a lot of promise, they will help you release a record. They help you pay for the design, packaging and pressing for the record. Musicians repay the hall through the sales of the record. Kirton says that the venue is always looking for new, professional and promising talent.
The educational programs at Lindsay Street Music Hall are very informative and created to help expose the youth to different styles of music. They invite different musicians to come in and teach classes. Styles of music covered include bluegrass, jazz and world music. Musicians cover the basic structure of genres, instruments and the history of music.
The venue has hosted mostly local and regional talent, but has brought in touring acts that come through Chattanooga. Some of the musicians that have stopped by or worked with the venue include Endelouz, Robert Bass, The Bohannons and Elk Milk, to name a few.
If you have EPB cable, check your listings for the “Lindsay Street Music Hall Sessions” on Channel 200 and get a taste of the history this venue is writing.
Lindsay Street Hall Sessions
Saturday, Feb. 4
• Jennifer Daniels, Kelly Haskew, Matt Downer, BJ Hightower
Saturday, Feb. 18
• Slim Pickens, Snake Doctors, Jordan Hallquist
Doors open at 7 :30 p.m.
Shows begin at 8 p.m. $5 cover, cash bar
Shows are filmed for broadcast on EPB FiTV Channel 200 and video-on-demand
Lindsay Street Hall
901 Lindsay St. (423) 755-9111 lindsaystreethall.com