These last few weeks I’ve been enjoying some really great live music in Marysville. This is extraordinary because this doesn’t happen very often but this whole year has been a great time for enjoying local music. We’ve had several touring bands play spectacular shows in different venues in the area and a few new local bands have been sprouting up as well.
Live music is beginning to creep back into our city. People are getting excited about music again and are consistently attending shows. This movement is happening solely by the hard work of a handful of individuals who have sought out the help of the Marysville Art’s Council and the city government. In the past year we have had shows at the Lee Burrows Building, the Art-o-Culture, and various other buildings in the area, none of which have ever been regularly used as music venues in the past. Years ago there was a place called Holy Grounds which served as our scene’s main music establishment. But due to the decline of the popular music style at the time and a lack of support from the church that hosted the shows, Holygrounds came to a halt. Curtis Collier who ran the venue has since moved on from full blown booking and promotions but still lends a hand in getting bands here and making sure that the shows are successful. This July he brought From Indian Lakes and Tallhart to the Lee Burrows building on their co-headlining tour. The tour was covered by Alternative Press and photos taken from that were posted on popular music blog PropertyofZack. The turnout was impressive since our area’s music scene has been nearly dormant for the last few years. Even more impressive is the fact that many people came from outlying towns and even traveled from larger cities like Sacramento and Chico.
Recently an art gallery in downtown Marysville has picked up a few tours. Art-o-culture in Marysville hosted Bears and Company, fresh from their recent tour of Japan, and Golden Youth (on their journey from Nashville) in October. Lily Joplin, who runs the gallery, has been picking these shows up in order to fill the void that is left because a permanent music venue has not yet been established.
A few attempts have been made this year to open up an all ages venue but none have yet yielded any permanent results. Ruth Soto, a local business owner and longtime music supporter, has been in the process of establishing an all ages venue for the last few months. The Edge will be located at 514 5th street in Marysville and will be hosting 3-4 shows a month. The building has been undergoing renovations to be up to code for it’s intended use: a problem that has been an issue in establishing venues in the past. The project has been going on for a few months now but The Edge promises to be open sooner than later.
A permanent venue is a key in creating a thriving music scene. If there is a place for smaller local bands to play and to bring their friends; then a real music community can begin to form. A regular audience will entice bigger bands to play in our small town. Years ago metalcore bands would flock up here and play to rooms full of teenagers. There was a market for that. If we can once again establish an audience then we will have a market that can draw small tours and up and coming artists.
Apart from San Francisco, there are no significant music hubs in northern California. Sacramento’s music community has been declining due to the difficulty that out of town bands face in booking a show, the monopolization of mid-sized venues by half rate promotion companies, and the absence of support and camaraderie of fans and musicians alike. Marysville could become a music destination known for quality underground music and even see a significant form of revenue come from music enthusiasts from all over northern California and beyond.
Note: This article was featured in The Prospector winter 2013 print edition.