The Tupelo Music Hall is an intimate and rather unconventional concert hall located in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Opened at the onset of the new millennium the hall is currently located in an old antique shop that more resembles a New Hampshire farmhouse than a concert hall and was essentially started by accident. According to owner Scott Hayward there was initially no preconceived notion of creating a musical space but a strong passion for live music changed all that. Originally a room dedicated to just folk music, the hall seats less than 500 people but boasts tremendous acoustics across the warm, small interior; the sentiment of the ownership being that the listener should feel like they are sitting in their own living room listening to music.
Taking into consideration its deceiving exterior as well as its location in a rural New Hampshire town, the artists that have performed at the hall would surprise most music lovers. The talent the Tupelo has brought to New England is the real contribution the venue has made to the musical community. The list is extensive of both local and national acts that have performed on the small stage but to name a few…. John Mayall, Arlo Guthrie, and the James Montgomery band have all played the hall as well as J. Geils and Hirsh Gardner to legendary artists such as Dr. John, Canned Heat, and the Yardbirds. Another unique quality of the Tupelo is the musical diversity- music from many different genres is showcased. In the course of a week of shows at the hall it’s possible for one to hear a rock band such as Living Colour on a Tuesday night and the jazz fusion sensibilities of Larry Coryell on Friday evening. The same holds true for folk, blues, and new wave artists and their music.
The venue is soon (January 2017) to be relocated to nearby Derry, only a couple miles from the present location. The new location is larger but promises to maintain the intimate ambiance of the original. The hall will also be able to attract more acts to the larger facility putting the granite state on the tour map of artists across the globe.
The Tupelo Music Hall has a great past and a better future- all in keeping with the venues motto that “It’s All About the Music”.
(by Mark Turner)