Sound Space, LLC
Asheville, N.C. has one of the fastest growing music scenes in America with several dozen venues and live acts performing every night of the week. But musicians have a hard time finding rehearsal space.
Photo credit: Robin McKinney
Enter Claude Coleman, Jr., drummer for the alt-rock band Ween, and his business partner Brett Spivey. Together, they’re creating Sound Space, LLC, a recording studio and practice space in the building that once housed Rabbit’s Motel.
Originally started in the 1940s by Fred Simpson (known as Rabbit because of his uncommon speed), Rabbit’s was the only lodging available to touring Negro Southern League baseball players and other African-American visitors to Asheville during Jim Crow. The adjoining soul food kitchen served pork chops “as thick as Bibles” according to Susan Reinhardt, a former columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Partner Community Capital (PCAP) is providing Sound Space with a loan to renovate and repair the building, which was badly damaged in a fire.
Once completed, Sound Space will sell new and used musical equipment, rent practice space in the former motel rooms, and coordinate lessons and workshops. A local chef (and relative of the original Rabbit’s owners) will open a new soul food café on site. The project will further honor the cultural legacy of the building with murals and a gallery to commemorate the baseball players who stayed at Rabbit’s Motel during segregation.
For more information, visit Sound Space’s website.