Walking through the streets of Downtown Sandpoint on a weekend night, you may be surprised at what you hear coming from various establishments throughout the area. Music of all genres fill the streets from places such as The 219 Lounge, The Hive, Pend d’Oreille Winery, MickDuff’s Beer Hall, Trinity at City Beach, Di Luna’s, The Back Door and more. And it’s not just your everyday wanna-be star that is performing; these are well-known musicians on a regional, and some national, level who delight the locals and tourists with their amazing talent.
The 219 Lounge is a leader in the music scene here. While it has hosted music since it first opened 84 years ago, it was three years ago when it began to host bands on nearly every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year to a packed house. A year ago, the “Niner” as it is known by locals, added Wind Down Wednesday, which features live music with locally and regionally acclaimed musician Truck Mills.
“The addition of mid-week music along with half-priced bottles of wine and featured cocktails is a midweek draw during the early evening hours. We have a different guest musician playing with Truck every Wednesday, and this past summer we did a solo or duo music series every Thursday evening during July and August. Occasionally, we will book bands on other evenings during the year,” said Mel Dick, who along with his wife Claudia own the 219.
At The 219 Lounge, they have hosted Karaoke every Tuesday evening from 9pm to midnight for nearly a decade. In fact, they were recently named as No. 1 out of the five top places in the country that you wouldn't expect to find great karaoke. The other four locations were all in major cities in the U.S.
And it’s not just the local favorites such as Devon Wade, Bum Jungle, Miah Kohal, Bridges Home, Harold’s IGA, Bright Moments Jazz, Muffy and the Riff Hangers, Still Tipsy and the Hangovers and many other local favorite musicians and bands that draw crowds each week. This year The 219 hosted bands and singer/songwriters from all around the U.S. including Seattle, Missoula, Bozeman, Omaha, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Portland, Southern Idaho and Maine, to name a few.
“We have so much good music that runs the spectrum from rock 'n roll, jazz, blues, Latin, Indie, ska, bluegrass/newgrass, Celtic, folk, Americana, funk, country and Southern rock,” said Mel. “Some are pure cover bands while others play only original music.”
With such an eclectic schedule of musical entertainment, Mel said both their live music and popular comedy shows attract a very wide spectrum of guests. “It is not uncommon to have a crowd of 21 to 60-plus years of age for just about any of our events,” he said. For more information on The 219’s lineup, go to their website 219.bar.
On the same block as The 219 Lounge is The Hive, which for the past five years has also been host to a thriving music scene. Jeff Grady, a music enthusiast, purchased the Pastime building and began an extensive renovation before reopening in August of 2014. Since that time, The Hive has hosted many amazing musical events including what has now become the traditional “Aftival”—musical entertainment that takes place at The Hive following the concerts at the annual Festival at Sandpoint each August.
With two full-service bars, four mezzanine-level VIP booths and state-of-the-art sound and light systems, The Hive is host to the Annual Halloween Bash, a New Year’s Eve Ball and various concerts throughout the year.
Some of the acts that have graced the stage at The Hive over the past year include JJ Grey and Mofro, Leftover Salmon, Anders Osborne, Sam Bus and Who’s Bad?–the Michael Jackson Tribute Band.
It’s a venue that is unique, fun and worth the visit! Check out their website, LiveFromTheHive.com, for information and a calendar of their events.
Along Cedar Street in Downtown Sandpoint, you will also find places such as Pend d’Oreille Winery, The Back Door and MickDuff’s Beer Hall, all of which host musical entertainment on a regular basis.
Pend d’Oreille Winery, located at the corner of Cedar Street and Third Avenue in the beautifully renovated Belwood Building, is host to live music during the winter months every Friday evening from 5 to 8pm. They also have live music during special events on Saturdays such as the 2nd Saturday Art Walk.
“Our most popular local bands are Mike Wagoner and Sadie, Jake Robin, One Street Over and Brian Jacobs,” said Kylie Presta, who along with Jim Bopp owns Pend d’Oreille Winery. “Musical guests usually represent folk, pop, alternative and country styles.”
Pend d’Oreille Winery also brings in musicians from out of town, such as Tom Catmull and Britchy from Missoula.
And if you are looking for a beautiful place to relax on a Sunday, Pend d’Oreille Winery welcomes local and experienced pianists for Piano Sundays. “Piano Sundays are becoming our most attended events,” said Kylie. “Scott Kirby, Bob Beadling, Peter Lucht and Annie Welle are four of our most popular pianists.”
Just down the street is The Back Door, which opened in the fall of 2017. Located next to Baxter’s on Cedar, The Back Door has hosted several musical guests on Friday and Saturday throughout the year. Its quaint setting is a great place to enjoy all genres of music including pop, rock, country folk and Americana.
Whether it is summer out on the lawn or inside on the dance floor, MickDuff’s Beer Hall is a great place to enjoy music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
They host many local favorites include Devon Wade, Brian Jacobs & Chris Lynch, and The Beat Diggers in addition to regional artists. Regardless, there is always a packed house with room to dance if you want to move to the music.
Just across Fifth Avenue in the Granary District, you will find Matchwood Brewing Company, which opened in October 2018. Husband-and-wife owners Kennden Culp and Andrea Marcoccio, along with their entire crew, have a deep appreciation for talented artists bringing music and high performances for the community to experience together.
“We believe music can foster positive community change, prompt dialogue and increase laughter,” said Andrea. “It is our goal to provide artists with an authentic experience both making positive, face-to-face connections with our guests and neighbors as well as honor and appreciate the time, commitment and creativity behind the art forms being performed.”
From creating a warm and intimate setting to working with sound specialists, Andrea said that Matchwood Brewing will be an authentic place to perform, watch and listen. “In addition, while conducting our apprenticeship at Imagine Nation Brewing Company, we watched firsthand the power of diversity in music performance and seek to engage community members with unique musical and performance talents as much as possible,” she said.
At Matchwood Brewing there will be both local and regional artists performing on weekdays, weekends and for specialty events, all in a family friendly environment. Andrea said they look forward to launching a summer series of outdoor concerts at the historic Molasses Tower stage with the grain elevator as a beautiful backdrop in 2019. Be sure and check them out at MatchwoodBrewing.com.
After living in the Sandpoint area for a number of years, Mel Dick shares that he is excited to see how the music scene is emerging not just at The 219 Lounge but many venues throughout town.
“Sandpoint has developed a great music scene ranging from great singer/songwriters and bands performing at local restaurants, bars, pubs and breweries to top-notch bands playing at Schweitzer during ski season and festivals and national acts playing the Festival and the Hive,” said Mel. “I believe The 219 and others have led a renaissance of the late-night scene in Sandpoint, and we are becoming a destination for great music on a year-round basis, not just during the annual Sandpoint Music Festival. We have some great local bands and musicians.”
This is just a sampling of what one can experience when it comes to music in Sandpoint. There are many businesses that have done much to make Sandpoint a great music venue over the years including Di Luna's, Trinity at City Beach, Eichardt’s, MickDuff's Beer Hall, Schweitzer Mountain, Arlo's, Forty-One South, Pend d’Oreille Winery and The 219 Lounge, all of which have hosted local and regional musicians and bands for years. In addition, The Hive and the Festival at Sandpoint have put Sandpoint on the scene with the national acts they bring to town. And one can't forget the great music that the Panida Theater hosts.
Come and explore! It may be a small town, but the music culture is global.