A new venue set to open in the Nashville area in early 2023, Timberhawk Hall, is looking to bring concertgoers slightly outside of town to an area that hasn’t seen much live music activity, the city of Madison, with a rootsy vibe in an almost barn-like setting.
The concert hall, whose plans have been known to the local music community for a while but were just announced Thursday, will have a capacity of 1,000 attendees standing or 600 seated. It’s located a few miles northeast of downtown Nashville, in a suburban area of an incorporated historic city that some have characterized as “the next East Nashville,” both for its next-door status to the latter community and the number of musicians moving there.
Even though the new venue isn’t even officially in his jurisdiction, Nashville mayor John Cooper weighed in on the project and welcomed it to the greater community. “The Timberhawk Hall project provides a first-class venue that will be enjoyed and appreciated across our community, by residents and visitors alike,” Cooper said in a statement. “I’m grateful to all who have been involved in this important neighborhood investment and excited for its official opening.” (Pictured above is an artist’s rendering of the venue, currently under construction.)
The project is described as the brainchild of brothers Fred, Duncan and Patrick Kennedy. It may be another name, though, that offers hope to Nashville music fans about the hall’s possible booking policies. Santo Pullella has been hired as senior talent buyer after a decade in that role at 3rd & Lindsley, one of Nashville’s most reliable and well-loved clubs for nightly rock and Americana shows.
The stage will be surrounded by 100-year-old barnwood, in addition to predominant stonework, according to information released by the new venue’s backers. Most of the handiwork is said to come from local companies and craftspeople as well as more artisanal sources outside the area. Nashville’s Centric Architecture designed the project.
In addition to the main hall, the campus will incorporate a beer garden and a separate two-story green room for artists and their crews.
The architects “ensured that the main hall — where concerts take place—and its surrounding campus were designed to recall other notable buildings in the Madison area,” a statement says, “employing hand-hewn stonework that mirrors the town’s many stone buildings, as well as art and design details that connect Timberhawk to the area’s history as a rail hub.” The timbers come from Montana’s reclaimed timber specialist Big Timberworks, and the art-glass windows were designed by Katherine E. Bash and generated at Germany’s glass and mosaic studio Mayer of Munich. Among the local craftspeople used, Jim Sherraden, who led Nashville’s Hatch Show Print for 30 years, is the designer of the colorful decorative tile visitors will see immediately upon entering.
“The intention we have at Timberhawk Hall is to create a dynamic playground for established and emerging artists, where the whole community feels welcome and can share in this live creation with the artists,” said Pullella. “We hope the fans feel inspired by their experience and take that energy home with them.”
Said co-founder Fred Kennedy, ““The most rewarding part of working Timberhawk has been seeing how a project can have the opportunity and the potential to affect the community, and be a part of that community. It’s amazing to see how important that is to the community, and how much they care.”
Timberhawk Hall is located next to Amqui Station, a preserved 1910 train station. Amqui Station was once owned by Johnny Cash, who moved it to his home in Hendersonville, but it was returned to Madison to be a museum and community space. Some of the details of Timberhawk Hall are said to make a connection between it and the immediate area’s history as a rail hub.
Information about the new structure says that “the timber frame was built without nails or screws, instead employing wooden mortise and tenon joints — a centuries-old technique rarely found in modern buildings, particularly of this scale — to further emphasize craftsmanship and enhance the building’s acoustics.” The venue will also incorporate LED lighting for the watercolor glass windows so that “even if it’s dark out, these windows will shine.”
Amber Harris will serve as marketing director. She was previously with Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand Draper James as well as fashion brand Michael Kors and the Nashville hotel/apartment complex Aertson Midtown. Danny Poland has been hired as technical director. He’s a three-time Emmy winner who’s worked with PBS’s “Bluegrass Underground,” Vince Gill and Nickel Creek, among others.
Best of Variety