Nick Karres hasn’t spoken to me since I featured a review of a show at the Double Door Inn more than a decade ago. The reviewer mentioned the overpowering cloud of smoke that hung thick in the air at the Double Door Inn. Karres took offense, but the funny thing is that the stench of smoke was part of the character of the Double Door Inn.
Long after the county banned cigarette smoking indoors, the Double Door Inn smoke still reeked from the walls where everyone from Eric Clapton to Jonny Lang have performed. And the Double Door was one of the coolest places to see live music, especially blues and soul. The legendary blues club will close its doors in early January. The veteran Charlotte live music venue joins a cast of longtime venues to close as result of rapid growth throughout the city. Earlier this week, John Ellison, of Amos’ Southend, announced that his club would be closing in March 2017. Tremont Music Hall, another Southend venue, closed in December. The Milestone is struggling to stay open.
The Double Door Inn is shuttering its doors to make way for the continued expansion of the Central Piedmont Community College. Efforts to save the club were unsuccessful. Journalist Kim Brattain, her business partner, Rick Fitts, filmmaker Chuck Bludsworth, and media veteran Jay Ahuja decided to create a documentary about the club.
“It’s now or never,” Ahuja said. “Between the four of us, we’ve been to nearly 500 shows there.”
Along with national acts, numerous local artists got their start there. Ahuja said they began conducting interviews and have recorded performances throughout the year. They are trying to secure interviews with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, The Avett Brothers, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and any other living artists who performed there since 1973. They will also interview local acts who performed there as well. They hope to have a preview party on December 7.
But, the group needs help. They have currently secured less than a quarter of $50,000 they hope to raise from their Kick Starter campaign, which ends Sept. 13. Here’s where you come in, donate to the Kick Starter campaign to help finance a documentary about this Charlotte institution. There are a variety of pledge levels that come with gifts for your donation.
Don’t donate just for the cool gifts. Donate so that we don’t continue to allow growth to erase the Charlotte’s culture. Without this documentary, the Double Door Inn will be a faded memory for the old heads just like Athens Diner, another Elizabeth institution bulldozed in the name of progress.