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Enjoy Noteworthy Nights in East Central Indiana

Musical performances and stellar venues can be found throughout this region.

By Patsy B. Weiler on July 26, 2021

Michael Hickey

Hear that faint melody in the distance?

We’ve sure picked up on it – and it’s coming from East Central Indiana, where a number of venues are providing residents with live musical performances.

It’s time to venture out and lend an ear to what this region has to offer.

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Music and More in Muncie, IN

The city of Muncie and music go together like sunshine and Hoosier hospitality. For nearly 60 years, Ball State University’s Emens Auditorium has been a bright, cultural oasis.

Known for its stellar acoustics, its stage has attracted headliners, such as famed alum hero David Letterman, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Broadway play Cats and more. In the not-to-be missed category, the auditorium will bring access to the legendary Taj Mahal’s first-ever livestream performance in November 2021.

In the heart of downtown, Canan Commons, a beautiful outdoor urban park is home to the free, summer Muncie Three Trails Music Series. “We are family/pet-friendly and present a fun, relaxed experience of seeing critically acclaimed national recording artists in all genres of music,” says Rick Zeigler, music coordinator. Asleep at the Wheel, the multiple Grammy Award winner, is one of the bands scheduled for 2021.

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McGowan Designs

Amped Up in Rushville, IN

Only a mile from Rush County Courthouse, the 40-acre Rushville Riverside Park Amphitheater sits adjacent to the scenic Flatrock River. The Live by the Levee six-part concert series delights all ages.

Part of the upcoming summer lineup features The Red Clay Strays in July and Dirty Deeds, an AC/DC tribute band, in August.

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A Rich Musical Heritage in Richmond, IN

Plan a trip to Richmond and head for the historic Depot District, where you can enjoy spirited sips and sweet songs at The Cordial Cork wine bar and restaurant.

Expect a folk-acoustic sound and occasionally a performer who tickles the ivories on the in-house piano. There is no cover charge, and dates are announced on Facebook.

The Richmond Civic Hall Performing Arts Center celebrates nearly three decades of presenting great performances. Owned and operated by Richmond Community Schools, thousands of students have been taught in its classrooms and a stellar collection of artists have entertained patrons.

Located inside Richmond’s oldest firehouse, circa 1860, is The Firehouse BBQ & Blues. After two years of intense renovation, owner Tom Broyles knew he loved good music and good barbecue, but he didn’t know much about restaurants.

These days, VisitIndiana.com lists it as one of the top barbecue spots in the state, smoking hot with atmosphere, including the original fire pole and fire hydrant bar stools. Plus, the stage blazes with roots music and the blues on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We wanted to have a cool place and the music puts a shine on what we do as we bring in a lot of quality acts,” Broyles says. “Behind the stage are two murals — a vintage firefighting scene and a Gennett Record, a tribute to the company being in Richmond and the cradle of recorded jazz.”

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A Paramount Place to Visit in Anderson, IN

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Paramount Theatre Centre & Ballroom in Anderson first opened in 1929. The Anderson community restored it during the late 1980s and today, it seats 1,450 patrons.

The rare treasure is one of 12 remaining atmospheric theaters designed by architect John Eberson, capturing the illusion of being in a Spanish villa.

History Galore in Redkey, IN

Redkey may be small in size, but the town’s love of history is large, so much so the downtown area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

People come from all over to visit the Key Palace Theatre, where tradition runs deep and where B.B. King and Muddy Waters held court. A massive mural of beloved blues artists is painted on a restaurant watching over guests.

“I fell in love when I walked in the ‘Key.’ There is a mojo or magic in the air,” says new owner Brian Hill. “The original stage and seats are still here. We are cooking some great food, and we want to help people forget their worries and bring back music to the place (the late) Leon Redbone said was his favorite to play.”

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