New places, familiar faces

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Mississippi Mud House has finally opened less than a quarter mile from the muddy Mississippi River. And I've been waiting. After the ice storm in February melted into the Enchanted Forest and caused the popular all-ages music venue to shut its doors, Cape Girardeau lost a valuable music spot. When Grace Cafe closed, Cape lost a warm and friendly watering hole.

The Mud House has been floating in that dreamlike state between sleep and wakefulness for months. A round logo branding the space as the Mississippi Mud House has been stenciled on the door and windows for at least five months.

It's open now and planning a myriad of entertainment options. Improv of 7 Dying Men, an out-of-the-box alt-rock band, will jump-start the concerts Saturday, and ArtiFakt follows Jan. 31. They have also planned movie viewings, starting with the Schrader Turner Films "Miller's Tale" on Feb. 20.

You order and eat in rooms framed like any other coffee shop -- intense colors, unfinished wood accents and colorful artwork from part owner/operator Linda Seabaugh, known as Pitter. In the back of the building, a small stage anchors a large room where people will see concerts, screen movies or hold private parties.

The portal room between the coffee shop and concerts in the back serves as a Cape Girardeau rock 'n' roll hall of fame. Timexx Nasty, one of the Seabaughs involved in starting and running the business, wants to paint the walls with a who's who of Cape music. He's got a good start. Records from Drivin' Rain, Fists of Phoenix and hang on one wall opposite old records from Jess Stacy, Billy Swan and others who got their start or spent a chunk of life in Southeast Missouri.

The space that now houses the Mud House has been reincarnated as coffee shops and concert houses for decades. The latest version promises to continue the tradition of allowing people to "just hang out and be artsy," to coin a phrase from Timexx. Between him and Daniel Seabaugh, they play in and know enough bands to fill the bill for months. Expect great things from this "new" space on Broadway.

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