Barnyard Beer and The Pool Room pair up for bluegrass, alt-country, and beer
When Heath Hoadley and Mike Hummell of Barnyard Beer started playing host to shows in the Barnyard Room of The Pool Room, 925 Iowa St., they were set on creating a venue and bar that reflected their personalities.
That means bluegrass, alt-country and beer.
They’re aware of The Pool Room’s reputation of being dirty and dangerous, but they’re adamant that those days are in the past.
“[People] think The Pool Room is this shady, horrible place,” Hummell said. “Whatever it’s been in the past means nothing to us. It’s not that now.”
In fact, he thinks the Barnyard Room is one of the most comfortable places to see music in Lawrence.
“From day one, it has been nothing but hippie love over here,” Hummell said.
The “hippie love” began in October 2011, when Mudstomp Monday, a longstanding Lawrence tradition of bluegrass open-mic performances, moved to the Barnyard Room. Though Mudstomp Monday is on hiatus during the student holiday break, Hummell said the weekly event would begin again in mid-January.
Live music continues throughout the week, with bands from across the country playing at the Barnyard Room — and sometimes, from across the world.
Pop singer Saara Markkanen from Finland stopped by The Pool Room to play while she was on a recent U.S. tour. Hummell and Hoadley said Markkanen had a great time.
“She was so excited to hear a banjo,” Hoadley said. “She had never heard a banjo in person before.”
“We had a room full of ‘em!” Hummell said. “We were her [tour] highlight.”
Upcoming shows in the Barnyard Room at The Pool Room include TJ Broscoff, Cowgirl's Train Set, and Slaughter Daughters on Dec. 15; Willie Stradlin on Dec. 21; and Back Porch Blues Band and Tyler Gregory on Dec. 22.