By Josette Rhodes
30A Songwriter Radio began in a livingroom with an iPad on the coffee table. Shannon Ireland created a music platform with reach as wide as the web. We gathered music from local musicians to broadcast on rotation 24/7. Musicians were invited over to share stories and play their original music live on air. What started out as something just for fun quickly grew bigger than we knew.
Early on the focus was on Original Music & the Venues that supported it. 30A Songwriter Radio was soon a staple at all the best live music performances. With interviews, video, photography, a blog of pure promotion, and the live broadcast, 30A Songwriter Radio soon outgrew our living room. And Music & Coffee was born.
When traveling musicians began calling with requests to do our show and full bands were setting up between the couch and the tv it became apparent we needed more space. I had always thought it would be cool to own a coffee shop and with a lot of hard work and determination a space unlike any other opened its doors in the most unlikely of spaces. Nestled between a nail salon and Publix, in an unassuming strip mall 30A Songwriter Radio’s Music & Coffee kicked off what would be the area’s only live broadcast music venue with the sole purpose of promoting original music. And it was awesome! Soon, with the priceless passion and creativity of Jasmine Carroll, our Tuesday night Open Mic and our Friday Night Originals became the hottest gigs in town. Musicians and fans traveled from around the country to experience the energy of this little coffee shop. And once again, we grew bigger than we knew.
Then came Covid and clarity. As the world seemed to shut down and the music stopped I began to realize how far we have come and just how far away from our original passion we truly were. With all of my energy centered on just keeping the coffee shop doors open and making rent I felt an emptiness and a dying of the passion I had for a space I dearly loved. I missed the music. But what I missed more than anything were the days where I was blessed to sit across from some of the greatest people I have ever met sharing with our audience the magic within our guests. I have laughed, I have cried, I have sat in wonder as a artist poured their heart into a song. There is nothing like it. And as I sat there in the quiet of a to go only coffee shop I knew what I needed to do. I knew it was time for me to step away and to once again focus on the music.
But how? This shop has brought so much love into our community. Life long friendships were born between these walls. We literally have the best customers in the world. I could not just close the doors. But I also could not hand over my baby to just anyone. I did not know what to do. So I prayed. I prayed hard and long and loud. I asked God to please send me someone with a beautiful heart and a soul that danced to its own beat. Someone who gets it. Someone who will breathe new life into our space but will keep the creative safety that makes Music & Coffee so incredibly special. And you know what? Prayers truly are answered and I can not wait for you to meet the new owner of Music & Coffee. She is awesome!
I know there are a lot of questions and I will try and answer some of the most asked. No. We are not selling 30A Songwriter Radio. Yes, the coffee shop will stay open. Yes. We are sharing our chicken salad recipe with her.
Yes. She will still have our Chai Tea Lattes and your other favorites. As well as, A Whole a lot More!
Yes. There will be music again at the shop.
Yes. Poetry will be back. Yes!!! The coffee shop is going to be better than ever!
As 30A Songwriter Radio is coming up on a decade of life and after thousands of shows we are not going anywhere. We have some amazing things in the works. I look forward to getting back to interviewing again. I look forward to covering some live music around town again. We are beyond excited for what is coming next. It OFFICIALLY ROCKS!
I want to take a moment to say thank you. I am humbled and grateful beyond words for each and every one of you. When we opened the doors for the very first time at Music & Coffee all we had was hope and a dream. And our dream came true thanks to all of you. Thank you for choosing us. And to all of the musicians who went out of their way to come in and buy a cup of coffee from us even when we could not have live music, your support will never be forgotten.
Stay Tuned Ladies and Gentlemen! The show will go on!
~ Josette Rhodes
* A very special thank you to Derek Givans, Tami Reinhart, and Butch the One Eyed Drummer. Without your help in the early days we would not be where we are today.