Every Thursday, a local calligraphy arts studio called Lettersong hosts a magical evening of fresh coffee, tasty sweets, and a variety of live music. Musicians and listeners of all types come together for this free, all-ages event starting at 7:30, to swap songs and share in a night of brilliant music making. The arts gallery of Lettersong offers a perfect space to inspire and be inspired. Visitors are welcomed by the lingering smell of freshly brewed coffee, a group of friendly smiling faces, exquisite art adorning the walls, casual candle-lit seating, and a naturally acoustic venue where songwriters "sing their sorrow to their sound hole and their knee" as Joni Mitchell put it. It’s a tribute to the 70s coffee house era, when people sought out their intellectual and emotional education with a good cup of joe and the lulling melodies of a songwriter with a guitar.
Lettersong, located at 1501 Story Ave, is a community space that offers workshops in lettering, bookmaking, and painting techniques, and hosts a gallery of current calligraphy exhibits. Additionally, its creative space is used for yoga classes as well as a music venue. Local artist Jen Grove founded Lettersong with the “notion of combining the visual and the audio sensory experience.” Jen wants to bring her love of letters and the study of ancient scripts to the public, while collaborating with local musicians. “We are also right on the FAT Friday Trolley Hop,” she explains.
She and a local musician Mike Logsdon were encouraged by friends to make their jam nights with music friends at the studio, open to the public. That was how their “Throw Back Thursday Coffee House Open Stage” kicked off. Once it did, they were both surprised. “It’s really extraordinary the music and the songwriters that come through here. People just come out of nowhere it seems. These open stage nights are simply … electrifying.”
Each week, a different musician hosts the evening by playing an opening set before inviting visitors to the stage. The July 17th and 31st shows will be hosted by Les Reynolds and Mark Southard respectively. Although free, Jen and Mike accept donations. All musicians and music appreciators are welcome.
Photos courtesy of Lettersong's Facebook Page.