Music to Our Ears
Tallahassee marches to a new beat as music scene expands
(page 4 of 5)
A Junction in Time
Taller Trees, is comprised of self professed soul rockers Jake Dane (bass), Mike Nivens (guitar), Tyler Denning (vocals) and Stephen Schultz (drums).
It’s easy to mistake The Junction at Munroe for a feed store, because that’s exactly what it is — or what it was.
“We have taken an 80-year-old feed store and converted it,” explained Russ Pangratz, owner of The Junction at Munroe. “It was originally a rehearsal space for me and my band and other bands, but the acoustics were too good to not do something more with the place.”
Pangratz has a been a musician all of his life, and he explained that he has always “had a heart for musicians.” He began the Tallahassee Area Musicians Guild with fellow board members Barrence Dupree, Russ Hamby and Margie Bertram. The Guild works as a hub for resources and music advocacy, providing a community to encourage, teach, learn and share with one another. A major purpose of the Guild is to provide scholarships, education, mentorships and lessons to those who may not have the means to afford them or to otherwise pursue music.
When Pangratz and his wife, Josie, decided to convert The Junction into a music destination, it was because they wanted The Junction to be “a place where musicians could rehearse and converge but also perform and listen to live music. We charge a cover for a reason. We are a music venue first, but just happen to have a bar inside.”
Performers from throughout the country, including Atlanta, Nashville and New York City, now contact Pangratz just to play in his venue. He kept the building as original as possible, with exposed brick and concrete floors adorned with worn oriental rugs. Fridges with sodas, beer and wine line the back wall, stickers from bands have become ingrained in the bar and an impressive collection of CDs and hot sauces are for sale in the lobby. The Junction is quirky and welcoming: a landing place for locals who come for the music and for bands, such as Tobacco Rd Band, who come to play.
Tobacco Rd’s Rockin’ Roots
Eric Durrance has signed multiple record contracts, has toured with some of the biggest names in his genre and has recorded in almost every notable studio in the U.S. His latest accomplishment includes working with Jake Owen and Universal Publishing as a songwriter. You may ask what he’s doing in Tallahassee. It’s simple: He knows his audience, and he knows his roots.
While attending FSU, Florida native Kurt Stevens gave live performances on a regular basis at Potbelly’s in Tallahassee.
“Tallahassee has a real down-home vibe to it,” Durrance said. “It’s a tight-knit community surrounded by water and trees. I’ve been able to draw from that, and you can hear it in my songs. It runs deep in my blood.”