The tricks that life plays on you are funny; I mean, you spend endless amounts of time making plans for your future. You do the research. You investigate. You turn over every stone. And all you wind up with is a big fat zero. Empty handed. Out of luck.
But then, if you’re open to reading the signs, that’s when you really find it — you find what you didn’t even know you were looking for. You find what’s right for you. You find what you’re really supposed to do.
Hi, my name is Blair Garner. Had you told me a few years ago my family and I would be opening a music venue I would’ve laughed in your face. And had you then told me this venue would be in Columbia, TN, I would’ve said “where’s that?” Well, a lot’s changed since then. And all I can say is, Thank God!
I’ve been in Country radio since 1993, back when I started a syndicated radio show called After MidNite. I hosted it for twenty years and it was heard in over 270 cities. The show picked up three ACM Awards for the Best Nationally Syndicated Radio Show. We scored nine Billboard Broadcast Awards, and even wormed our way into the Country Radio and National Radio Halls of Fame. I’m really grateful to get to do what I do, and never does a day pass that I don’t realize what a truly blessed life I lead.
My favorite part of the job has always been doing the interviews — and the artists have been amazing. Folks like Garth Brooks, Reba, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney. At one time or another, most any artist you can think of has come through our doors.
What always strikes me the most is just how normal they are. I mean, honestly — these are just cool, kind, and approachable people. Our conversations are the kind you’d have with any normal friend. What shows do they binge-watch? What kind of a kid were they? How did they wind up doing what you do? One of Garth’s songs says “a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows”. I feel that same way about interviews. An interview is really just a conversation. You never really know where it’s going to go.
My family and I wound up in Columbia four years ago. Nashville was growing so much that even getting around town was becoming a drag. I longed for a home similar to the one in which I was raised: Canyon, Texas. I wanted to feel that sense of community — the kind where your neighbor gets your mail for you if you’re out of town — where you see familiar faces out at dinner —where you feel like we’re all in it together — we’re a community. We are a family. For us, Columbia is all of that and so much more.
Not long ago I was trolling Craigslist in search of my next project car. (I’m always on the hunt for my next project car — it’s a sickness!). What I ended up seeing was a beautiful 1930’s building. It had a barrel roof, and brick detailing that was amazing. I had no reason in the world to call about it, but I did.
That afternoon I arranged to meet the owner. All he wanted was to lease the building. But for me there was this strong and deeply emotional pull. I felt compelled to make an offer on it. I wanted to buy it. I didn’t know why. I just did. And to my surprise the keys were in my pocket only a few weeks later.
So here I am: A country radio DJ living life in historic Columbia, TN with a vintage 1930’s brick building. What the hell am I supposed to do with it? I mean, I had to do something — it’s not like I could afford to just sit on it.
A buddy of mine jokingly said, “why don’t you do your radio show from there?” I initially laughed, and blew it off. But later that day, his comment kept rattling around in my head.
What if I did something like that? Could I get some of these famous artists I know come do a show in Columbia? Could we renovate that building to accommodate some kind of intimate interview/concert setup? By the evening, I was all in. Yes it’s possible. Yes they will do it. And most importantly — Yes, we ARE doing this!
So welcome to The Mulehouse. It’s a first-of-its-kind, and God knows it’s the first time we’ve done anything like this. It honestly feels like it’s what we are supposed to be doing. It’s almost as if everything else had been leading us to this the whole time. It wasn’t what we were looking for. But it’s what we were supposed to find. It’s nothing short of serendipity.
Get to know celebrities as real people.
See your favorite singers like never before.