I gaze across and down the street and see a large old house with nearly a half dozen chimneys poking out all over the roof. Was it a railroad worker boarding house once? Maybe somebody just really loved fireplaces. This is the view from out front of the 3rd Street Arts Listening Room.

A sign on the tall front fence is the only indication that we're in the right place. Otherwise, this could be just a funky cool old house in a historic neighborhood. Step in the door and you see why it's an art and music space. The inside has been gutted, leaving charming brick walls and a tall ceiling of timbers above an expanse of wood floor. It's a house formed into the house concert ideal - open, unusual and inviting for musicians.

We're here to open up for Cole Mitchell and the Curs at their CD release party for his new album, "Nobody's Blues." This is my first time either attending or playing at 3rd St, down south a few blocks from Coal. Here's hoping it won't be the last.

House concert rules apply here - there's no bar and suggested donations are accepted at the door. Shows tend to start at hours like "7" - the kind of hours that get you home before midnight instead of crawling out the bar door at 2 AM. Figuring out the show schedule isn't quite as simple. You can browse around their MySpace page and make sure you're on your favorite local bands' email lists. And they always welcome phone calls for more information. You might try Russ at 505-306-0535.

The best part (besides the actual shows) is stepping out onto the small porch at the end of evening. You leave with the memories of the bricks and wood, reminders of the historic architecture that collects in pools of old neighborhoods in Albuquerque. It's venues like this that make a person happy to be a musician in this town.

3rd St. Arts
711 3rd St. SW

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Comment by mombat on May 29, 2008 at 10:36am
That space looks fanatastic. I hope we can check it out.

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