Jeremy McComb brings Music City to the Northwest with new Concert Venue "Nashville North"
STATELINE — Even with being on the road performing 170 concerts a year, country singer Jeremy McComb still couldn’t stand watching tumbleweeds grow around the former Kelly’s club.
“This is the house that built who I am,” McComb said while taking a break on Friday from renovating the once-thriving country music club at Stateline.
“This is the reason I’ve been successful. It all started in that lighting booth. This is an emotional place for me.”
McComb and co-owner Bob Kreaman — both formerly worked together for singer Kelly Hughes at Kelly’s — will open Nashville North on Oct. 24 at the landmark site. It was also formerly occupied by Big Al’s, another bar.
“When I heard that Kelly was putting the place up for sale, we had a long conversation and I called Bob,” McComb said. “We couldn’t pass up on it. I saw this place in the mid-90s when there were 1,000 people here and there were 200 people outside the door waiting to get in.”
McComb said that he and Kreaman want to build on the foundation that was set with Kelly’s and attract eight to 10 major artists a year to supplement a “regional powerhouse” house band that will be announced the opening night.
“I spend so much of my time touring clubs throughout the country who are doing business the right way, so I’ve had a lot of great examples to follow,” said McComb, who grew up on McGuire Road in Post Falls and attended New Vision Alternative High School. “It will be all of the best things we’ve seen on the road for the past 10 years wrapped into one club.
“We want to bring the Music City experience of Nashville to Stateline, Idaho.”
Nashville North, which will be nicknamed “The Ville”, will be open on Friday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge.
Kreaman will focus on the day-to-day operations, while McComb will handle the entertainment side.
McComb said Nashville North is meant to be a friendly to visit. Women will be escorted to their vehicles. The restrooms are part of the remodel. Staff will be trained in conflict resolution. Gone are the mechanical bulls that were once at the site.
“We want a comfortable place for men and women, not a place where you’re going to get punched in the middle of your face,” he said. “The women will be treated with respect.”
McComb, 33, is a country boy on the move.
“I’m a John Deere tractor with a jet engine,” he said.
Growing up here had a lot to do with who he is today and everything to do with him finding time to open Nashville North, he said.
His parents, Bob and Janet, performed for the local Crossfire band when he was a kid.
“I grew up a little fast,” he said. “Music was everything to me to the point I wasn’t interested in school work or anything else.”
New Vision, he said, turned his life around.
“It gave me life skills,” he said.
His first job in high school was working in the lighting booth at Kelly’s.
“Kelly picked me up from high school one day in his tour bus, and I’ve never looked back since,” McComb said. “Kelly has been a mentor to me from the beginning.”
McComb played in Hughes’ band and, as music director for the business, he booked a show for the comedian Larry the Cable Guy. A year later, McComb was offered a job as tour manager for the comedian.
That experience led to McComb’s his first major record deal at Warner Music Nashville. His new record, called “FM,” will be released early next year.
With four new teaser tracks on iTunes and Spotify, more than one million streams have been tallied in under 18 weeks.
“It’s doing things we never dreamed of,” McComb said.
McComb has lived in Nashville for 10 years. He’s married to Kourtney Hansen, who plays Emily on the ABC drama “Nashville.” On the show, Emily is the assistant to country music diva Juliette Barnes played by Hayden Panetierre.
McComb said he hasn’t decided if he’ll buy a home here, but he’ll be around a lot more, including performing at Nashville North three or four times a year.
“I’m excited to bring the magic of Music City to the heart of my hometown,” McComb said.
- Nashville North, which opens its doors Oct. 24, will be open on Fridays and Saturdays. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 9 p.m. Co-owner Jeremy McComb will perform on the opening weekend, followed by Kelly Hughes on Halloween weekend. The to-be-announced house band will perform thereafter. There is a $5 cover charge. Southern barbecue food will be sold.