Let the music move you — to the Perryville Jamboree
PERRYVILLE — On Saturday nights, as the sun starts to set, music fills the air in Perryville, leading listeners to the newly-opened Perryville Jamboree on North Bragg Street.
“This is one of the neatest things I’ve ever been a part of,” said owner Chris Brummett.
Situated in the former Perryville Furniture Warehouse, the Perryville Jamboree is $10 to enter and currently has a 330-person capacity, Brummett said, a number they almost reached on Saturday, opening night for the music spot. It tapped at 300, he said.
The idea to open came after the December closure of the 68 Jamboree, which had entertained crowds for about seven years. Brummett spoke with Mike Mackin, the key board player of the 68 Ramblers, after the closure was announced and the idea was born. He hired on the band and is tapping into some of the same artists to play.
Musically, Brummett said the Saturday shows will largely cater to the “over 50 crowd,” featuring classic country and rock, along with some gospel music.
But it is more than just filling that void left by the 68 Jamboree, Brummett said. It is a way to honor his late maternal grandfather by using the building he helped build; and honor his late paternal grandparents, who turned him on to that type of music, along with HeeHaw and Lawrence Welk.
“My father’s father, his favorite song was ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ He had a milk route, and inevitably that song would come on. I remember riding with him and he would start to whistle along with it. I got so much joy from watching my grandfather enjoying himself,” Brummett said. “That’s my why, that’s why I did it.”
The Perryville Jamboree is an alcohol, drug and smoking free space, he said. Brummett wanted to make the space a place for grandparents to bring their children, carrying on the same idea that inspired him.
It has been a community labor of love, Brummett said.
“My joy has been — this has been a community effect where my neighbors and friends have taken ownership to help me get this done,” he said.
And in just 22 days, they were able to transform the space from a furniture storage and showroom to it’s current state.
“I do not recommend that,” he said with a laugh.
Brummett gave credit to his head carpenters, Gayle Hunt and Brian Caldwell, as well as Joseph Best and Tyler Issacs, who would work at night to help him get the place finished.
“They have worked tirelessly,” he said.
Brummett said he wanted the Perryville Jamboree to feel like a miniature Grand Ole Opry or Renfro Valley. That was achieved thanks to barn lumber on the walls from Gravel Switch and bits collected by his late father over the years.
“My dad was a collector. He bought stuff that I thought was an absolute waste, but it works perfectly. He would haunt estate sales and auctions,” Brummett said, referring to items like farm tools and implements, deer antlers and skeletons, old photos, records, jars, chairs and much more, which now decorate the space.
People came from about six counties on Saturday, he said. The folks who attended the 68 Jamboree are the “core constituency,” but Brummett said they’ve expanded on that group. Saturday’s large crowd, he said, is “simply an affirmation that we pulled into the heartstrings of the community.”
The back of the building features a snack bar, with items like a country ham sandwich, a barbecue sandwich, hot dogs, chili dogs, and much more. The ladies running the concessions were also hired from the 68 Jamboree, he said.
“They knew customers’ preferences and appetites,” Brummett said.
While the music starts at 7 p.m., people can come beginning at 5:30 p.m. to purchase a catered dinner for $10. For fun, Brummett has set up a photo booth in back, which will print the photos out on the spot for patrons.
Eventually, Brummett plans to have special Friday events featuring comedians and other headliners. The price for those nights, about eight Fridays a year, will be between $15-$25, he said. He also wants to be able to include local performers, giving them a space to showcase their talents.
Brummett said they will likely have to expand into the back of the building, currently still operating as storage for the furniture store. He has been working on cleaning it out with the help of individuals from the Isaiah House.
He said he thanks God for leading the project.
“Sometimes, you can sense God’s hand on a project,” Brummett said. This was one of those times.
Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.
SO YOU KNOW
To find out the upcoming performance schedule, be aware of special events, or learn more about the Perryville Jamboree, find the business on Facebook. To inquire about performing at the Perryville Jamboree, email Freddy Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (859) 319-1660.
More photos can be seen online at www.amnews.com.