In the past weeks, this space has highlighted musicians performing in and around Newton County. The local talent has always been great but in the past, there have not been enough venues to see and hear that talent. That is changing, folks.
I've wanted to do this post for some time, and since we've added a few new venues and some existing locations have added music to their offerings, now seems like the time to look at Newton County’s musical hotspots.
You might want to cut out and save this one for future reference. So, in alphabetical order, away we go:
Amici Covington, located at 1116 College Avenue, Covington — Live music on Friday nights at that "groovy pizza joint." Great food — pizza and wings in particular — and remember to get the ranch dressing and say hello to everyone behind the bar. This upcoming Friday, Nov. 11, those crazy guys — UPANG.
Bear Creek Marina, located at 60 Bear Creek Marina Road —The ownership and management have decided to stay open during the off-season with limited hours (Friday through Sunday). Known for their wings, fried shrimp and fish tacos, these guys usually do live music on Saturday nights.
Bread and Butter Bakery. Located at 1153 Monticello Street, Covington — This venue is brand new to Covington, offering food with beer and wine, in addition to coffee and pre-made meals to go. The coffee shop hosts live music most Saturday nights.
Cowboys BBQ, located at 1066 Hwy 142 (Dixie Rd). — This restaurant features impressive pulled pork and all the fixins, in this writer’s opinion. But it might be best known for its wings. The Saturday night Picker's Circle is an event not to be missed with Brooks Honeycutt and Co.
Five o'clock Sports Bar and Grill, located at 7189 Turner Lake Road — This happening spot in the Kmart shopping center almost always has live music on both weekend nights. Five o’clock is a regular spot for several bands with large followings, including Gannon Adams, Cochran Road and The Peeled Onions.
Johnny's Pizza, located at 10176 Carlin Dr. Covington (Jackson Hwy and the By-pass). This crew has some pretty killer pizza in their own right and I believe they are doing live music at least a couple of weekend nights per month. Look them up on Facebook and find out more.
Lucy's Wings and Things, located at 4220 Hwy 142, Newborn — This place features a great selection of food — I can personally vouch for their wings and burgers, and I really like their fries. This "Sandtown" establishment has a cool lounge area where they do the live music with a beer and wine menu.
Mama Maria's, located at 10205 Access Road, Covington — This well-known outfit is under new management and they have started doing live music on the weekends. I've been hearing really good things about how the new team is turning things around. I've always been a big fan of their pasta offerings.
Mystic Grill, located at 1116 Clark Street, Covington — This place, where the vampires go to eat and imbibe, is just too cool. They have killer food and impressive beer, wine and liquor selections. They host live music every Thursday through Saturday, including Chris, Jon and Scott on Friday, Nov. 11 and Taylor Marie on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Old School Music Show at the Historic Newborn Schoolhouse, 4326 Hwy 142, Newborn — Hosted by Dennis Fincher, this is a good ole fashioned hootenanny featuring multiple acts playing Ole Timey, Gospel, Bluegrass and Country on the third Saturday of every month. Food and refreshments are for sale during the event. There is no admission charge but donations accepted.
Porterdale Bar and Grill, located at 52 South Broad Street, Porterdale — This happening spot just seems to stay busy with poker, trivia, karaoke, bingo and all sorts of other stuff during the week. It features live music every weekend with an impressive bar selection and tasty food.
The Depot, located at 4122 Emory Street, Covington — This place is like Old Man River —they just keep rolling along. The current ownership and management seem to have the old place clipping right along. It hosts live music most weekends and Open Mic with Shane Clark every Tuesday night.
The Listening Room, located at Irish Bred Pub — 1115 Church Street, Covington. The premier music venue in the home county (and in this part of the Georgia Piedmont for that matter), you can catch local, regional, and national acts on the weekends; They also have Wednesday night Jazz and Lesley Daunt's Open Mic every Monday evening.
The Social House, located at 2101 Main Street, Porterdale — Another of the super cool spots in the lovely mill village, this place puts out very good food, an impressive bar selection, pool, and a very nice stage for live music. They get some really big shows down there on Saturday nights and there's nothing quite like it.
The Speakeasy, located at 2001 Main Street, Porterdale — Another cool Porterdale place. Owner Tim Savage and company have developed a wonderful place in the back of The Company Store. Smooth and esoteric, you just can't get enough of it. It features Wednesday night Trivia, "Wrasslin'" every other Saturday, the occasional Dinner Theater, Lip Sync battles and select musical performances on some Thursdays and weekends.
Where's There's Smoke BBQ, located at 3139 Hwy 11, Mansfield — Some of the best BBQ you'll find 'round these parts, you can check out their Thursday night Picker's Circle or swing by to catch a show of some local Country, Bluegrass or Gospel most Friday nights.
Your Pie, 1115 Washington Street, Covington — This neat spot which offers made to order pizzas with your selection of selections offers a good beer and wine menu and does live music every Thursday night.
Well friends, I was never too great at math, but that gives us 17 musical venues by my count. That's not including another handful of establishments that will occasionally do live music or the private venues or music barns (future column) that Newton is home to. This is most assuredly a music scene, and we're all just so fortunate for it. Hope you enjoyed that.
Marshall McCart aspires to one day be able to fully and truly articulate that peculiar essence of what The Esoteric South is all about. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.