Nothing Changes without Change

Covering the live music scene in Salem has been getting more interesting lately. Lots of changes, new characters, and some established players are gearing up for a much anticipated comeback. I have definitely noticed it’s taking much longer to put together the events calendar. Personally, I’m all for this town getting a little shake up. I’ve never been a fan of the status quo.

First off, a couple places have diversified their format to include regular live music events. The Silver Spur on Silverton Road has always been a popular place for epic line dancing experiences. Recently, they’ve been promoting open mics and live music catering mainly to the country and folk genres. They’ve hosted Tony Lundervold and The Raccoons will play February 18th, to name a few. Blue Diamond Bar and Grill now has jam nights, hip-hop shows, and are hosting a “Battle of the Emcees,” a competition held over several weekends starting February 26th. And South Liberty now hosts live music every Saturday night, as well.

Shotski’s is the new kid in town. Josh Parker has renovated the old Lefty’s/Roxxy building on State Street. When I spoke to him I was so pleased that he is 100% on using the spacious stage to its fullest. Parker doesn’t want to limit the venue to one genre – he wants to hear it all. Right out of the gate he’s hosting the 11-week Cherry City Music Festival preview, happening on Saturday nights now through March 26th. I notice he is occasionally having two shows in one night: an earlier dinner show that the whole family can enjoy and a later show to cater to the night-life crowd. He’s hired on Salem music scene fixture, Tamberlie Ecklund, to lend a hand.

Last, but absolutely not least, is confirmation of the much anticipated news that The Space will definitely be rising from the ashes. If you’ve paid any attention to the live music scene in Salem over the last decade, you know Doug Hoffman and you know the now mythical rise and fall of the original Space. The Space was created by Hoffman and founded July 22, 2008. It was a tiny dive bar on Broadway, and I say ‘dive bar’ with much affection. Hoffman created a cultural mecca in that Space that offered Salem a place to go and express itself, and experience touring bands from up and down the West Coast. Alas, the wheels of progress saw fit to erect a mixed-use apartment building right across the street. Hoffman and the music community came together to keep The Space a reality, but sadly, The Space closed to a majorly bummed Salem scene.

Fortunately, the dream of The Space stayed alive in Salem and in Hoffman, so now with the help of Stan Keightley and Freddy Ruiz, Jr, they are resurrecting The Space. Although they’re presently negotiating a few last details, this is definitely a go. They’re on track for an apropos July 22 opening and have their eyes on the Level B location, in The Pringle Park Plaza. Their crowdfunding is now LIVE at, or look them up on Facebook. The Space is coming back and you can be a part of it. You should be a part of it. This is your community and this is an ambitious endeavor by some of Salem’s most musically-connected folks. Please give them whatever support you can offer. They’re going to need hammers and cash – jump in and be involved.

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