Easy Rider: Franklin’s First Moto Sanctuary is Alive and Well

“Why do you ride?”

This is the big question John Chandler asks to all who enter his store, Franklin Moto. John knows every person – every bike – has a story to tell… and he wants to hear them all.

John’s particular story consists of trips to the Grand Canyon, tours of Joshua Tree National Park, and down America’s historic Route 66. Across the road’s dotted white lines his youngest son, Elisha, rides beside him. These are just a few adventures they have enjoyed. John remarks, reminiscing on all the memories just a few tanks of gas brought him, “ we rode through all kinds of weather stopping often to simply soak in the natural beauty.”

Other than the scenery, there is more to the bike life that has made John fall in love with this lifestyle and he is excited to see where it heads next, “the motorcycle culture is experiencing a true renaissance in urban areas,” John commented. It’s the journey and experience that hooked him, and he’s now developed his dream of having a piece of this beloved culture right here in the heart of Franklin.

Situated in The Factory, John wants Franklin Moto to empower, encourage, and equip the riders of Williamson County. He does this with more than just his rustic, unique motos and apparel; John and his team offer free consulting on buying and selling used bikes. Franklin Moto also educates how safe and easy it can be to maintain/buy/sell a used bike. He even offers advice and guidance on how to build one your own! All they need is a little TLC, he says, but some wise words from an expert like John definitely help.

The most exciting part? Franklin Moto is just getting started. John has big plans to expand, and is already using their grand showroom to sell a few beauties; and by offering a few customization services, John is ready to rock-n-roll. His only goal is to provide even more than he already does for his bike family in Franklin. John wants to create a space to provide tools and knowledge to let riders work on their own bike, get their own hands dirty. John says garage collectives like this are popping up all over the country in big cities and figures Franklin isn’t far behind. Swapping stories, tools, and ideas, Franklin Moto will be a sanctuary for those who are passionate about their rides. John’s not just creating a sacred cycle home for Franklin, he’s also putting Franklin on the motor map. He wants Franklin Moto to be a place to stop for touring riders, he wants to provide exceptional experiences for riders in his own city. He wants to be a part of your story, one of the reasons you ride.

Shake It! Introducing: Soul at The Factory

The Factory at Franklin is proud to carry on its grand tradition of live music by introducing its newest installment of the live concert series: Soul at The Factory.

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As Williamson County grows, so does its need for more and more live music. This new Factory Urban Original Music Series celebrates the best local, national and international R&B, Soul, Southern Soul, Funk, Jazz, Blues and Gospel music; and believe us when we say you do not want to miss out on any of this exciting talent.

Artists who have appeared previously include Jason Eskridge, K.C. Martin, Michael Fair, Lisa Webb, Stacey Mitchhart and The Little Russell Band. Upcoming artist include Brian T. Cornish and many more.

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Dr. Alvin Jones heads the series and says Soul at The Factory was started to provide an alternative music series in Williamson County, that while there are many Country, Americana, and Folk acts, Williamson County could use a bit more Soul. All performances will feature a full live band and are guaranteed to get you out of your seat and get you moving. Performances are scheduled for most Saturdays with doors opening at 6pm.

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When asked why Jones decided to make their home at The Factory, he remarks that its Little Brick Theatre really sealed the deal. With 130 seats filling this state-of-the-art music venue, it’s the perfect place to showcase the kind of talent Jones plans on bringing to the table this year… And let us tell y’all, it’s a whole lot of talent.

As if all this weren’t already exciting enough, Soul at The Factory is now partnering with Mafiaoza’s to have a Prix Dinner from 5pm-6:30pm prior to the 7pm show. It’s the perfect night out! So come down for a night of great food and music that will fill your belly and your soul. Both VIP tickets and General Admissions are available so be sure to reserve yours before the house fills up!

 

 

 

 

Must Love Music: Welcome to Luna Record Shop

A love of good music runs in the family. Just ask sisters, Brenna Gentry and Calvert Gentry McMahan.

Born and raised in Franklin, these two found their love of music early through their parent’s extensive record collection; and like all children surrounded by music, they grew to love it more and more. Eventually, the two grew up and became their own people.  They developed their own tastes and interests, diversified their portfolio to tapes and CDs; but once an audiophile, always an audiophile, and not long after, Brenna began her own vinyl collection in the late 90’s…. And she hasn’t stopped collecting since.

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“I have always wanted a record store since I was young,” Brenna says, “and Calvert and I have always wanted a business together.”

So, in June 2015, they made their dreams happen.

“Audio streaming, while so convenient and accessible, had people missing the experience of physically picking up a record, and investing in it.” Gentry commented. “Even worse, a whole generation who had never even experienced that. We started online and quickly worked toward our brick and mortar.”

Since both Brenna and Calvert are 4th generation Franklin natives, they agreed keeping their passion (and business) in Franklin was their number one priority when starting Luna Record Shop, which lead to that very brick and mortar shop being right here in The Factory at Franklin.

“The Factory was a great fit for the size/space we needed and we loved their desire to create a local scene that wasn’t so corporate… We opened November 7th, 2015, and we love our home.”

Almost two years later, the stores expansive collection grows more and more every day. You can find both new and classic records throughout the collection, so no matter what style of music you’re into, this shop has something for you…. and to let you in on a little secret… They have more than 1,000+ records tucked away in the back at any given time.

Luna Record Shop built their business around what they love, so not only can you find records there, but there are tons of other great gift ideas and music paraphernalia.

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“We have new and used vinyl, cassettes, art, gifts, stickers, magnets and more. We take pride in being one of the very few record stores that actually clean, test play, and play-grade our used vinyl. We want every customer to know exactly what they are paying for and provide a friendly, fun, and judgment free space,” Gentry assures.

No matter if you’re shopping for yourself, a loved one, or perhaps even an acquaintance. Luna Record Shop is the place to go for the music lover in your life. They are an official Pledged Record Store Day store, and will be carrying hundreds of indie, exclusive, limited edition record store day releases on Record Store Day on April 22nd, so be sure to come by and see what’s in store!

 

 

 

A Room & a Stage: Introducing Music City Pickers Live!

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A room and a stage. That’s all Brady Seals and Gordon Kennedy went looking for when trying to find a venue to host their live singer/songwriter series, Music City Pickers Live! They were eager to find a place where they could invite other local songwriters, of all genres, to share their art and song with the good folks of Franklin. Luckily, these two fantastic musicians found exactly that, and so much more, right here in the heart of Williamson County.

 

When Grammy nominee and No. 1 hit singer/songwriter, Brady Seals, opened Music City Pickers in 2010, he dreamed his guitar shop would one day host a live music event featuring local musicians of all kinds. Unfortunately for Seals, however great the space was for a shop it didn’t provide the right kind of space and acoustics for a live music venue. But Franklin is full of all sorts of wonderful, talented musicians and his good friend (and fellow songwriter, who co-wrote the Eric Clapton hit, Change the World), Gordon Kennedy, wandered into the shop and told him about the incredible experience he recently had playing a show at The Factory at Franklin’s Little Brick Theatre. Both of them knew immediately they had to explore more of what The Factory had to offer, and how their live version of Music City Pickers might come to fruition there.

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When the two visited the Little Brick Theatre again, they knew it was the real deal.  Not only would the venue provide the space they were searching for, they realized that guests who came to see the performances could also enjoy wares from local makers, artisans, and tasty treats from local restaurants The Factory also housed as well—right here in one spot holds the perfect night out for the folks of Williamson County.

 

So, what should you expect from these fantastic live performances?

 

“You just never know what may happen when songwriters get together.” Seals remarked, “We’re looking forward to featuring all genres of music, including pop, bluegrass and gospel. My wife, Lisa, is excited about putting together a “Girl’s Night Out” spotlighting an all female lineup.”

 

Be sure to come down to The Factory this season to eat, shop, and listen to some of the greatest musicians around every single Thursday at The Little Brick Theatre. Performances will consist of talented up and coming songwriters to mega-hit writers and artists. The Factory could not be happier to welcome this new music series to our venue, and we welcome you all to come and enjoy it right along with us!

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Eat Local. Drink Local. Laugh Local.

It comes as no surprise that Franklin is one of the most supportive artist communities in Middle Tennessee. From art, music and film, to dance and theatre, it’s the perfect place to have a good time and celebrate the arts. So… why not implement a little comedy into the mix? Let’s face it, Williamson County is a fun-loving community, it loves to laugh. That’s why, The Factory at Franklin is excited to announce its new resident super group improv troupe—The Franklin All-Stars!

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This comedic super group consists of a core of four main performers. At the heart of the All-Stars we have Barry McAlister and Cindy Carter from Sprocket Improv, and Lacie Madison and Michael Kearney from the Nashville Improv. Both Sprocket Improv and the Nashville Improv have hosted and performed several shows at The Factory’s Little Brick Theatre earlier this year. These two groups have performed successful shows all over Nashville, the Tennessee Region, and beyond, and the shows performed at the Little Brick Theatre were no different. In fact, the audience enjoyed these performances so much The Factory decided it needs a little more laughter in it’s life, a little more fun, and a lot more “yes, and…”

Each month this group will also invite other performers and comedians from other local improv teams to perform along with them in The Factory’s Little Brick Theatre.

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The Little Brick Theatre is truly the perfect host for these events. The gorgeous old brick building makes for a beautiful back-drop, and the theater is a perfect size for and intimate show—the more intimate in improv, the better the audience/performer dynamic. We can’t wait to see what magic the All-Stars come up with this season!

When asked what the All-Stars are looking forward to most about their Factory residency, Barry McAlister replied, “Franklin is an incredible town!  There’s a vibe there unlike anywhere else.  It’s historic, artsy, vibrant and they’ve been supporting local theater there for years and we are excited to add improv to the mix. There’s no other regular comedy opportunity in the area, either, and we’re looking forward to getting to know folks as they come out and give our shows a try.”

For more information and to purchase tickets ahead of time go to www.franklinimprov.com. The next show is November 25th, and then shows will be held regularly on the second Saturday of each month.

Holiday Events at The Factory

No other venue in Williamson County offers the historic charm and creative possibilities that The Factory does, and holiday season is clearly no different! The Factory is proud to kick off a season of holiday events to keep your days merry and bright, and your creative gift ideas flowing. Between pop-up fairs, holiday markets, and all the live music events—you’ll be sure to find an event (and gift) for everyone in the family to enjoy this year!

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To kick off the big season, we’ve got two major must-attend holiday events this year: Made South Holiday Market and City Farmhouse Holiday Pop-Up Fair.

November 18-19th, Made South will take over The Factory as more than 130 artisans, makers, and creators will celebrate the best in creativity and Southern hospitality. This event will feature everything from Southern distiller tastings to chef demonstrations, live music, and more. Friday night will host a VIP party before the big event on Saturday that you will definitely not want to miss… Did someone say complimentary drink tickets? Between the party, the tastings, and the wares, this event is one for the books. Be sure to come #ShopSouthern with Made South this year!

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As the holiday season continues, our very own resident antique experts, City Farmhouse, will host their annual Holiday Pop-Up Fair on December 3-4th! The #CityFarmhousePopup Fairs have been named one of the top five events to attend in October by Southern Living, the top October event to attend in Tennessee by Garden & Gun, and the #1 Flea Market/Antique Show by Romantic Country… Now just imagine what their holiday event might entail!

This year, they will have Flea Market Style Magazine at the event to celebrate its re-launch, as well as Whitney Miller (Master Chef Season One winner) who will host a cooking demonstration, as well as signing her newest cookbook for those who purchase it. It truly is a not-to-be-missed event for all things Southern, creative, and stylish this season.

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Last, but certainly not least, we can’t leave out The Factory’s favorite holiday tradition, The Trees of Christmas! We hope you and your family will join us this holiday season as we present one of our favorite annual events. The Factory will have all its halls decked out, and display more than 40 real Christmas trees, each beautifully and thoughtfully decorated for the season by our local artisans and merchants! Come down, grab some coffee from Honest Coffee Roasters and something sweet from Five Daughters and stroll around our grounds. We look forward to seeing you all there and are so excited to celebrate the season with you!

StudioTenn Brings Local, Historic Play to the Spotlight at The Factory

It’s no surprise that Williamson County’s theatre scene just gets better and better with each forthcoming season. Franklin teems with talent and creative purpose. The Factory at Franklin’s own, StudioTenn, is one of the many reasons Willaimson County sets itself apart in terms of creativity. In fact, they are set to kickoff their 2016/2017 season with the locally written, produced, and performed play, “The Battle of Franklin: Civil War Reflections Through Word and Song.”

This historical drama details the city’s famed 1864 Civil War battle through theatrical representation and song. The Factory at Franklin is so pleased this resident production company aims to represent the deeply-steeped history of Franklin, Tennessee, their home base for last five years. By working with leading local historians, the production aims to remain as historically accurate as possible, while melding actual historical accounts with creative license. The result is a moving piece that illuminates the lives of those in a war-torn South.

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“The Battle of Franklin: Civil War Reflections Through Word and Song” runs November 3rd-13th, at the Jamison Theater inside The Factory. Tickets start at $35, and believe us when we say that you do NOT want to miss out on this incredible event.

StudioTenn is well known for producing emotionally arousing, professional theatre that taps into your existence as a human and stirs your innate desires. Their vision to create locally-produced theatre that is both regionally engaged and nationally recognized is quickly becoming a reality.

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Artistic Director Matt Logan and Managing Director Jack Speck fulfill lifelong dreams through their StudioTenn repertoire by producing locally written pieces of theatrical magnificents performed by local actors.

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Recently, the production company received endless acclaim for their performance of Tennesse Williams, “The Glass Menagerie” and “Evita.” In fact, the latter even drew in nationally recognized Broadway actor and Tony Award winner, Anthony Crivello.

This on-the-rise production company gathers endless accolades from the local arts community including The Tennessean and the Nashville Arts Magazine, and is the only local production ever asked to be featured in Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) series.

The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization works to present creative, original, works while casting new light on well-known pieces in the theater canon. It also produces an original “Legacy” series that focuses on the classic works of well-honored musicians.

Don’t miss this theatrical treat while it’s still a hidden gem at The Factory at Franklin.