Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” The Bard’s famous quote could certainly describe Nashville’s indie scene: permanent and makeshift stages can be found in almost any bar, coffee shop, park, pizza joint, etc.
While it’s easy to highlight shows at Mercy Lounge or 3rd & Lindsley, there are literally hundreds of other venues in Music City. I’d like to start shining the spotlight on such Hidden Gems (smaller venues), and I’m starting in that venerable haven of artsy-ness: East Nashville.
One of my favorite coffee shops in town is Ugly Mugs, located on Eastland Avenue. The establishment opened 2 years ago, and is family-owned and operated. Opening a coffee shop was a long term dream for Jarod and Courtney Delozier, and the opportunity to do so came to them earlier in life than they had anticipated. They wanted to create a community “hang,” with different styles of seating for people who came to do different things… work, study, talk.
Ugly Mugs prides itself on being part of the community, and serves food and beverages from right here in town. The coffee is from East Nashville favorite Drew’s Brews, and pastries and other selections come from places like Star Bagel, IveyCake, and Dozen Sweet Shop.
And the music is just as local as the coffee! The shop has featured live music since it opened, and currently hosts musicians every Saturday night. Occasionally they’ll open their doors to their musically inclined neighbors to host CD release parties on other nights, but they like to keep most nights open for people to come and study or hang out without distractions. Ugly Mugs is open every day until 10pm.
Most of the musicians who play at Ugly Mugs are singer/songwriters, whose mellow acoustic sounds fit in with a coffee house vibe. Even when there isn’t live music going, the shop will often play CDs of the folks who have played there. While the gigs are unpaid, Ugly Mugs provides professional sound equipment and a sound technician for its Saturday night shows. Musicians interested in playing should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, July 24th
6pm – Summertown
7pm – The Intrepid Travelers
Saturday, July 31st (Music City Unsigned night)
6pm – Anthony Snape
6:30pm – Joel Rakes
7pm – Jenny & Tyler
Does your favorite local hangout host live music? Email me at email@example.com.