On the heels of the absolutely devastating news of Frank’s closing (ow, our hearts!), it’s important to remember that if nothing else, North Lawrence is full of self-sustaining charm.

That’s likely why folk and bluegrass, among other genres, are having a heyday in the region. The Gaslight is still burning bright, but just down the street (and, coincidentally, next door to Frank’s) is a new sanctuary for songwriters.

Over the course of just a few weeks, Kaw Valley Public House has become a household name in the folk and bluegrass music scene. The scenery is gorgeous and the shows are plentiful. Any night of the week, you can likely walk into the bar (which opens to a spacious patio with plenty of seating and space heaters) to find musicians plucking away in the back of the venue. It’s generally all smiles as the townfolk get cozy in that corridor. So far, KVPH has seen the likes of Til Willis, Unfit Wives, and many more roll through.

On Thursday, they were hosting the second installment of Megan Luttrell’s all-female singer-songwriter showcase. Luttrell, along with Jamie Benvenutti, Erin Eades, and Julie Bennett Hume, played in rounds (that means they all took the stage at once, and each took a turn playing a song and talking a little bit about the inspiration behind the song). Together, they belted ballads about heartbreak, bad decisions, and Russian literature… because these gals are clever AF.

Kaw Valley Public House is nothing but pleasant. Just, wonderful. It’s where the town will likely head all Summer long to divide their auditory attention between the plentiful folk and bluegrass shows and the trains wizzing by across the street.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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