Morelock Music Feels Like Home

Matt waits on a customer at Morelock Music while his dog smells her feet

We each probably have a few places which aren’t our home, but which give us a good feeling every time we walk inside. Downtown has quite a few spots that residents obviously feel that home away from home feeling. Most evenings if you walk down Gay Street you’ll see the same crowd at Downtown Grill. Some people have made Java Old City or Coffee and Chocolate their spot.

I have several myself. I feel most comfortable in the businesses in the Daylight building; talking books in Union Avenue Books, buying a few groceries or eating chocolate with Urban Toddler in Just Ripe, talking to John and Amanda or petting Molly in John Black Studio. Outdoor seating at Preservation Pub with Shaft or Trio with Urban Woman on Market Square or the French Market on Gay Street suit me really nicely.

A packed house, Ferd and Matt at Morelock Music

Ferd and Matt at Morelock Music.

One place that invites you in with its smells of old wood, sounds of instruments in the hands of people who know how to use them and a congenial vibe is Morelock Music. I’ve passed through on a couple of recent Friday nights and enjoyed the music of Matt and Ferd, but also bands passing through. There’s a tip jar by the stage and, often, a packed house with most people standing. I’m not sure Matt makes any money when it’s that packed, but he certainly banks a lot of good will.

Band plays at Morelock Music on a Friday night in Knoxville.

Matt sits in on Jew’s Harp.

A group plays at Morelock Music, Gay Street, Knoxville, 2012.

My favorite moments in the store are when it’s less packed and I can look around at the array of new and vintage instruments, listen to a little local conversation and speak to whomever happens to be working or passing through. Almost any local musician is likely to be spotted in a random visit and that’s fun, but it’s more than that.

Morelock Music, Gay Street, Knoxville, 2012

The place has that something extra that makes it feel like your place and mine. Is it the comfortable couches, the small collection of vinyl albums, the hodge-podge of items lining every wall or the friendly greeting when you walk in? Yes, it’s all that, plus a vibe that’s hard to describe. It’s that home feeling: Familiar places, sounds and people.

Morelock Music, Gay Street, Knoxville, 2012

It’s definitely one of the places that defines downtown, making us distinctive from about any other place that you can name. We have several of those. But mostly, it just extends a welcome out onto the sidewalk, gently tugging anyone passing by to pause and slip inside. Why not do that yourself next time you are downtown? You’ll be glad you did. In the meantime, why don’t you tell me – which places downtown give you that “at home” feeling?