The newest venue in the Monadnock region could very well be the oldest. The Fitzwilliam Inn, built in 1796, has been a gathering place for travelers and local residents through the centuries and has enjoyed a long history of providing music. This fall, music lovers Chelley and Dave Tighe bought the Inn and are keen on keeping these traditions.
Several weekends a month live music is offered from a wide range of genres, including rock bands (original and covers), folk, jazz, and blues artists and ensembles. Every Wednesday evening there is an Open Mic that showcases different music as well. The mixing is intentional. “We want to spread it around to not be to genre-specific,” says Chelley. Most of the bands are local musicians who are recommended by the clientele, or who contact the Inn. Some began playing for Open Mic and were invited to return as a featured performer.
Chelley described many of the aspects of the Inn as “eclectic”. In addition to the range of music offered, the menu and the demographic of the clientele vary. Young people come for the exceptional wood–fired pizza and beer, while others make an evening of enjoying a multicourse meal. “We have older couples celebrating an anniversary or other special occasion who come for dinner and spend the night at the inn. Not only are people coming from southern New Hampshire, but also from northern Massachusetts - Athol and Orange and Gardner. Last week we had people from Brattleboro.”
As spring approaches, the Inn will undergo some more changes. A patio, complete with a fire pit and waterfall, is under construction with Sunday afternoon entertainment in mind. Rick Gottlieb, who began performing at the Open Mic, will be the first musician to perform outdoors on May 25. Also on hand for May is singer-songwriter Nate Smith on May 3 and blues artist Lydia Warren on May 23. The Open Mics happen every Wednesday from 7 – 9.
The Tighes have a vision of Fitzwillliam Inn being a hub where people gather regularly on the weekend. “Ultimately it would be fantastic to have music every week - you know -- Saturday night at the Inn. This is a perfect space. It’s big enough to accommodate a big crowd but not so large that it doesn't feel intimate. We invite anyone to come and talk to us. Let us know if you want to hear a particular band or if you know of someone who wants to play.” For more information about the Inn and its entertainment schedule, go to fitzwilliaminn.com.
Lynn Merlone is the founder of Monadnotes, a website featuring musical offerings and opportunities in the Monadnock region.Here you find pages with descriptions of local musicians by genre; music venues and events; music instruction; open mics, jams and karaoke; and musical groups for you to join.The Event Calendar boasts the most complete listings of musical events in southwestern New Hampshire.
VisitMonadnotes: Your Music Source for the Monadnock region