Last night I went to a show at the Sutler. It's just one of many I've attended there over the past five years. If you've never been there, you've only got two more weeks to experience more than 30 years of Nashville Music history. On 12/23 The Sutler will be closing its doors for good. For more info, CMT has a news story about its closing and the many closing of long-time music venues across the country.
The Sutler is an honest to goodness bar with some of the best, most varied music in Nashville. You'll hear anything from a label showcase to a songwriter's night to live radio show taping to bands on the rise.
It's longevity is probably most notably marked by the wall behind the bar and the bar itself. The wall is probably 15 feet high and almost entirely comprised of intricately hand carved wood that encases a gigantic mirror. Dozens of liquor bottles and various bar necessities rest atop a marble counter in front of the mirror. I sure hope someone is able to save this stunning piece of historic craftsmanship. Once that is gone, there's no getting it back.
The room is divided by a saloon like rail. The floor is half painted / half carpet. The tables are worn and dark from years of drinks and dinners being served on them. And, yes, there is that old familiar bar / club smell. These things make the Sutler a "real" place to hang out. You don't have to be hip or "in" to be there... it's just a place where everyone let's you be yourself.
Perfomers test out their newly written songs on a stage that is positioned almost among the audience. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of up-and-coming artists have played the stage over the years. If you look around at the photos on the wall, you'll see photos of everyone from Trisha Yearwood to the Night Hawks to Keith Urban. Pretty amazing.
I've known that the old building was on its way out for several months now. But, I didn't know until recently that the Sutler wouldn't be rebuilt.
Now, I realize this is the busiest time of the year with traveling, Christmas parties and shopping for Santa... but, if you can swing it, please stop by, take-in some authentic Nashville music and say goodbye to a piece of Nashville's history before 12/23.