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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Jive Mill searching for a permanent home

Jive Mill searching for a permanent home

2017 was a big year for music in Rochester. Dessa played at Down by the Riverside. The Elysium series disrupted local nightlife. Positive Tuesday began bridging the musical gap between here and the Twin Cities. And husband and wife duo, Chris and Noelle Roberts, took a leap of faith and opened an intimate music venue on the north side of downtown. 

The Jive Mill began hosting shows in June, and soon began attracting songwriters from the local music circuit. In the months to come, audiences would be treated with open mics, CD release parties and trivia nights. In September, the Jive Mill welcomed in its biggest name, NPR Music's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea, after logistical issues prevented her from performing at another nearby music venue.

“There’s a ton of talented people here,” Chris told us in an interview last summer, shortly after opening. “As we’ve been here longer, we’ve been realizing how many people have a lot of skill and a lot of really creative stuff to offer and just don’t have a place to provide it.”

In a year that marked the loss of a key local music venue — the Wicked Moose — the Jive Mill team worked diligently to fill the void.

Now, the crew is looking for a new home. The Roberts' and company concluded what they describe as the "test" phase at the end of 2017. In the interim, they will go back to hosting house concerts, something they have been doing — and perfecting — for the last four years.

In a recent conversation, Chris told us he is optimistic they will find another spot. "Right now it's about planning stages and looking for the right space. We learned a lot of what we needed/wanted from that short run. All good stuff! And definitely felt the warm reception from people, so it's good to know it's not just a dream for us but also something that people value."

Proving they're not going away anytime soon, the Jive Mill already has its next show lined up. The in-house concert, set for Jan. 26, will feature Minneapolis-based Tribal Country. Tickets are $12 in advance.

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Cover photo courtesy the Jive Mill

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