Since November 2003 The Bluesboro Rhythm & Blues Co. has been a venue where blues, rock, R&B, country and dance bands have appeared on a nightly basis. The bar and restaurant is now scheduled to close its doors for the last time Aug. 24.
“We had a fabulous five-year run,” says Bluesboro owner Rob Fortney, 38.
According to Fortney, Bluesboro is one of his most prized business endeavors. He first came to Murfreesboro nearly 15 years ago to attend MTSU. Now interested in pursing other projects, Fortney says, “Murfreesboro has always been great to me and great to Bluesboro.”
Bluesboro has showcased everyone from well-known country music singer-songwriter Lee Roy Parnell, to KISS Army, a national touring KISS tribute band.
“I use to enjoy the blues nights with Dean Hall at Bluesboro,” recalls longtime Bluesboro bartender Jason Laird. Laird joined the Bluesboro staff in 2004 after bartending at Fortney’s previous bar, Inferno, and adds that he had a great time with fellow employees at Bluesboro.
Another bartender, Nick Diel says the only way to describe his time at Bluesboro is “crazy and fun.” He recalls when the Thursday night specials on food and drinks used to bring in a crowd.
“I remember when this place would be wall-to-wall with people, and it was so much fun,” says Diel.
Fortney says Bluesboro has been known to throw some fantastic New Year’s Eve parties. He also says that the establishment prided itself on being a quality venue for musical talents of all kinds. He gives those as just a few examples of why Bluesboro has always been “consistent in showing the people a good time.”
For some Bluesboro will forever be a memory of a special occasion or a certain show, a good time, a story that begins, “Remember that one night at Bluesboro.” But for local musicians, Bluesboro was a way to get their music heard.
Scott Wilson of Pimpalicious says, “We’ve been playing there for five years. Rob was great and the staff was great, and we are going to miss it.” Wilson recalls being a member of one of the first bands to ever play at the bar, as he seems to note the fun had there with a fondness.
Tyrone Smith, also known as Super T, says he “hates to hear that Bluesboro is closing. It was a great venue, and I always had fun performing there.”
Dee, lead vocalist for SkyHi, thinks of Bluesboro as a great opportunity for the band that helped earn them recognition.
“I want to say thanks to Bluesboro for giving us a lot of publicity and support in the Rock Star Band Battle,” says Dee. He also mentions that Bluesboro is one of the most “sophisticated” bars in Murfreesboro that has always provided a comfortable environment, which he appreciates and will miss.
Andy Metz, member of the band Penguin–who recently played one of the final shows at the venue with SkyHi?claims that Bluesboro “has a style that no one else has.” Metz also says his appreciation for Bluesboro comes from the fact that he always feels as though the staff at the bar truly cared about the bands that play there and offered a classier environment than many other venues in Murfreesboro.
“Part of the pleasure of Bluesboro is whether you are an indie band or a classic rock cover band, the vibe just fit,” Metz praises.
As the patrons and bands bid farewell to the bar that has proved to give musicians a great place to be heard and patrons a great place to hear them, the staff says farewell to a bar that has housed numerous good times and close friendships. Owner Fortney is somewhat sad to see the day come when those doors close forever, but excited about what the future will bring.
Bluesboro’s final weekend includes:
Thursday, Aug. 21?StereoHype
Friday, Aug. 22?The Joe Harvey Band
Saturday, Aug. 23?Respectables