Kimbro’s Café: A very special musical experience


by Dave Carew

Imagine sitting in your living room . . . your favorite wine or beer in hand . . . and hearing some of the best live music you’ll ever hear anywhere. That’s pretty much the Kimbro’s experience.

Small in square footage but big in heart, the Franklin, Tennessee-based Kimbro’s is easily one of the most enjoyable and comfortable live-music experiences in Middle Tennessee. The first show I ever caught there was The Burritos (now called The Burrito Brothers), the superb local band inspired by the artistic legacy of Gram Parsons. That night I became I big fan of the intimate venue, and I’ve never looked back.

Recently Underground Nashville caught up with Will Jordan, owner of Kimbro’s Café, for this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: Why was Kimbro’s launched in Franklin rather than in Nashville?

WILL JORDAN: Kimbro’s was launched in Franklin in 2005. We opened in Franklin because that’s where we live, and Franklin is a happenin’ place. I was born and raised here, and Franklin has always needed something like Kimbro’s.

UN: Why do you feel Kimbro’s is a distinct live-music venue? What do people experience there that they might not experience at larger venues?

WJ: Everybody feels at home at Kimbro’s.  There’s a welcoming atmosphere that emanates the minute you walk through the door, whether it be a bartender introducing you to the very different vibe that is Kimbro’s, or a regular eager to host.

UN: What are some of the shows you’ve been proudest of over the years?

WJ: Some of the folks who have played Kimbro’s include John Prine, Ween, Cowboy Jack Clement, Ivan and Alyosha, Alex Marley, The Steeldrivers, Rodney Crowell, Pokey LaFarge, Regi Wooten, Mary Gauthier, Walter Egan, Lydia Loveless, Tristen, Ex-NFL bruiser Kyle Turley, Shannon “Law Dawg” Lawson, Roger Cook, Nanci Griffith, Ron Block, Joshua Black Wilkins, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Kenny Vaughn, Shawn Camp, Phil Keaggy, and King Billy.

Kimbro’s Café is located at 214 South Margin Street, Franklin, TN 37064.

For more information (and to hear a really cool Tom Waits tune), please visit


David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at and Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and/or “like” the page on Facebook:

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Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


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