By the end of the grand opening night last Friday, it was standing room only at the Pit Stop.
The newest Oak Bluffs music venue that’s housed in a converted Dukes County avenue garage echoed with jazz, folk and rock and roll as Vineyard musicians took the stage to celebrate the first official concert. The past mingled with the present — old concert posters lined the walls from the garage’s previous incarnations — but the pulse was new.
The Pit Stop will be a place for workshops, art shows, recording and selling Island music, but most importantly it will be a gathering place for people of all ages, organizer Nina Violet said before she took the stage.
“One of the biggest reasons I played music was because I could see it on the Vineyard when I was [under 21 years old],” said Ms. Violet, a popular and talented Vineyard musician whose father, Donald Muckerheide, owns the building.
The club has been hosting unofficial shows for several months, and last week was granted a business and entertainment license from the town.
On Friday night cafe tables lined one side of the room, lending a jazz club or speakeasy feel to the evening. Adam Lipsky played original compositions, a disco ball hanging above his head, followed by an acoustic and melodic set from Ms. Violet with Marciana Jones and Willy Mason. Friends jumped on stage to join the musicians with back-up vocals and drums. The evening was recorded on half-inch magnetic tape.
Once on stage with guitar in hand Ms. Violet addressed the audience.
“We’re hoping to do this every weekend,” she said standing under the soft red light. “Then again, once it’s summertime, every day is a weekend.”
The club will be selling memberships annually, seasonally and monthly with the goal of raising enough money to buy the building. Annual memberships are $100; a summer pass costs $75 and monthly memberships are $15. All memberships include half price admission to shows, workshops and events as well as exclusive ticket offers.
The Pit Stop celebration continued on Saturday night with a record release party for Master Exploder, featuring the Whiskey Stills and Ricky Prime.