Written by Emily Kimbell
Live music has become a staple at venues throughout Coweta County, adding to the area’s emergence as an arts and music town.
“Newnan and Coweta County have always been a little bit of a hub for aspiring musicians,” says Matt Larsen, owner of Brickhouse Grille and Tavern in Newnan. “There’s a lot of local talent around here.”
Larsen is no stranger to local talent; he’s been part of the local music scene since he opened his first location of Brickhouse here 10 years ago.
“Some of the kids who started playing here when we were down the street have made it and gone on to Nashville,” says Larsen.
Stardom can emerge at any moment as karaoke nights and battles of bands become increasingly popular. Nick Alvarez, a frequent karaoke participant, fondly remembers an unexpected performance at a Friday night karaoke party at RPM Full Service Patio Pub & Grill in downtown Newnan.
“My friends and I heard a soulful blues singer take the mic,” says Alvarez. “Turns out, the cook had taken a short break from the kitchen to sing a song. He was amazing.”
Amateurs, professionals and everyone in between have plenty of places to perform around town. Venues like Brickhouse and The Alamo offer large stages and equipment to accommodate full bands.
At the Brickhouse, “everything is here ready for bands to play. Lights, speakers, sound guys—it’s all here,” says Larsen. “The Alamo has the same deal. The way that place is shaped and because of their really good sound guy, the sound is amazing there.”
Alamo Manager Brett Murphy says the venue on Newnan’s court square has hosted everything from dueling piano players to jam bands and deejays.
Other Newnan restaurants and businesses that offer live music routinely include The Cellar, The Mad Mexican, The Half Shell and Vinylyte, which provide intimate spaces for performers and listeners. Greenville Street Park is home to Jazz in the Park and Artz in the Park, two annual outdoor music/dance festivals. Main Street Newnan sponsors the Tucked Away Music Festival each spring, and Pickin’ On The Square is a favorite attraction during first Saturday Market Days on Courthouse Square in Newnan.