Statesboro went through a bit of a shift over the last few years. When I started writing these articles a couple of years ago our downtown music scene...our whole music scene was thriving. 40 East was bringing live music three nights a week. GeeDa’s Table was hosting brunch music as well as often having great acoustic acts on various nights through the week, and Eagle Creek Brewery was just picking up steam.
In other parts of town, there was a boom. On any given weekend evening, a person looking for live music could find it from Millhouse to Gnat’s Landing to several spots prime for the college set right beside campus. Some of those venues are still bringing us music with some regularity, but most have since closed, and the music scene in Statesboro, it seemed, was dying. It was a sad time. Many of our friends and family in the scene had given up trying to find a spot to play.
“They’re only booking solos and duos now,” was the best we ever heard. More often it was “they aren’t booking anymore,” or worse, “they’re closing.”
As with everything in life, seasons of growth and dormancy are to be expected to a degree, but the energy that was palpable in 2015 seemed to be waning. We had found a new version of the Statesboro blues to sing. A version that lamented lost voices, feet that no longer danced, and loss of community.
But I’m an eternal optimist, and I, like many of you, held out hope that the dam would break.
Now, nearly a quarter of the way through 2020, some of us are starting to feel a surge. The embers are starting to grow again.
A few months ago you may have read about The Blue Room. There, along with a few other venues, has been an oasis in a relative musical desert. LIke any great epic song or story, there was a moment of near hopelessness, but the pins of light are beginning to brighten. All around town, there’s a whisper that we can begin to look forward, once again to the bustle and buzz of a thriving community. What am I so excited about? Let me tell you.
Eagle Creek Brewery is a staple in the downtown music scene. They still have music weekly. From solos to full bands, their stage is a great size for a full band, and the bands they book pack the house. Sugar Magnolia next door is now booking Wednesday live music. Although it’s primarily solo and duos, it’s always classy and fun.
But as I write this in mid-March, I walk daily by Tandor & Tap and Bull & Barrel each of which promise to complete “The Eagles’ Flight.” I can see it now. Hungry and thirsty patrons making their way from Sugar Magnolia to the Brewery to T&T to B&B. Window shopping and greeting friends along the way from one great venue to the next as music follows them from one spot and greets them as they enter the next.
The Blue Room is still alive with music, and there are other venues hosting open mics and acoustic acts. Loco’s, Nonna Picci, are two of the places you can catch some of Statesboro’s best solos. And, of course, we can’t leave out the Averitt Center for great music from groups you may or may not have heard of.The newest change on the horizon is the Tormenta stadium complex which is already looking to bring in everything from local bands to internationally known megastars in the stadium and additional venue(s) planned for the area.
Statesboro’s music scene is coming to life again, and we can give it the added juice by going out and supporting the places who support live music. Get out there and see what’s shaking. Find a spot to groove, or dance, or just sit back and take in the sounds of the Boro.