The Grain Haus adds year-round indoor performance space

Kentuckiana musicians and music fans will have yet another indoor space for live performances, starting this week.

The grain housea bar in New Albany (41 West First St.) who hosts live music in its Enchanted Forest outdoor venue, will open a new indoor stage tomorrow night.

Colin LaMure, musical coordinator at The Grain Haus and bassist of the band Villa Muré, told LEO that the new performance space is an addition to the side of The Grain Haus that faces the Enchanted Forest, which nearly doubles the size of The Grain Haus room where the bands played.

It features a 22.5ft x 12.5ft stage, comparable in size and scale to that of MagBar, equipped with the sound rig that previously belonged to the Enchanted Forest. (The Enchanted Forest will have its own sound platform.)

The hall will accommodate 100 people.

LaMure said the new stage will be ideal for performers and audience members in a way the Grain Haus has never been before.

“It’s a really cool, intimate kind of little rock show that’s a particular room dynamic that’s close to my heart,” LaMure said. “It won’t be a direct match with the Enchanted Forest by any means, but I think it’s cool in its difference.”

In November, the Enchanted Forest had to close for the season, and Brian Hampton, owner of LaMure and Grain Haus, considered a few options for keeping the music going through the winter: buy an “off-campus” indoor concert hall or create a new building.

However, adding The Grain Haus instead was “our most convenient option.”

One of their motivations for creating a new scene was that certain bands had technical or physical requirements that The Grain Haus could not meet. Even LaMure’s own band couldn’t have played there, he said — their drummer would have been smashed into a corner and had to tone down his playing.

Now, however, the new stage will allow for “significantly high volume” concerts – literally and figuratively. LaMure is looking to bring in more local and touring bands for “loud, powerful shows.”

Now, he said, “We have the technical ability to give every band what they want, from heavy jam bands to bluegrass trios. We don’t want anyone to be limited in their ability to perform on our stage.

When LaMure and I spoke on Tuesday, we both recalled a show at Enchanted Forest last August that was very quickly canceled due to a long, intense thunderstorm. Since the new stage is indoors and year-round, seasonal weather conditions are less of a concern.

Still, LaMure envisions the possibility of using the outer and inner stages together at this year’s Brouhaha Festival — that is, a band on one stage will finish their set, and a band on the other stage will be already installed and ready to play goes.

Tomorrow night, from 8 to 10 p.m., the Louisville-based band Americana Mama Said String Band will play the first show on the new stage. Tickets are $5 at the door and the show is restricted to ages 21 and older. Doors open at 7 p.m.

LaMure said there will still be trial and error now that the space is open; in fact, they are finishing construction today.

Still, he looks forward to the bands and fans the new scene will bring.

“I’m excited about this, and I want as many people [as possible] come out and see what kind of mark we put on the music scene here,” he said. “It’s really exciting, because it’s something that southern Indiana didn’t have.”

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