When The Family Wash abruptly shut its doors on Jan. 26, patrons, employees, and musicians who were booked to play the venerable East Nashville venue were taken by surprise. With access to the Wash’s quirky, beloved stage suddenly cut off, Daniel Walker at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison immediately saw an opportunity to help.
”The people that worked at the Wash who contacted me said they received a text that morning that they were let go,” Walker says. ”It just so happened there was a show scheduled for the next night at the Wash with three acts – Francis, Dayna Rose, and Bre Kennedy – all of which had employees from the Wash in their bands. Fortunately, I didn’t have a packed schedule that night, so I was able to push one show early and the other later and place that three-hour show in the middle. That night it was packed, and it felt good to be able to help out.”
After saving the day with last-minute re-scheduling, Walker also came to the rescue with several other bands that were left out in the cold. ”Mallorie McRea, who was the talent buyer for the Wash, reached out to me,” Walker says. ”There were some special shows she had curated. We couldn’t fit everything in on the exact same night it had been scheduled. We added shows on Sunday, when we usually didn’t have music, and worked other sets into our regular schedule. We weren’t the only venue that stepped up, but it felt good that people would think of us when something like this happens. We’re also happy that Liz Turner (former Family Wash bar manager) has joined our staff. We needed someone strong, and we’re really happy to have her.”
Walker also says the timing has turned out to be a great way to focus attention on the growth that Madison has been experiencing. ”We’re becoming an extension of East Nashville now,” Walker says. ”I hear from people who live in Inglewood that they’re heading north rather than going to 5 Points now, and I think that’s great. We’re expanding the reach of Nashville’s music community.”