Saturday, August 13, 2022

Foster Music & Arts: Former Water Valley School Transforms into Concert Venue

The term “old school” usually means retro, from an earlier era, and looked upon with high regard. In Water Valley, it means all that and is literally true as well.

The Old School Theater is a revitalized 250-seat school auditorium at 817 South Main Street in Water Valley. Located inside the Melonvine Marketplace on the south side of town, the theater will regularly present both national and regional music acts thanks to a new organization – Foster Music & Arts.

Melonvine Marketplace in Water Valley, Miss. All photos by Jeff McVay
Melonvine Marketplace in Water Valley, Miss.
All photos by Jeff McVay

Foster Music & Arts is a partnership between Kevin Guyer and Eddie and Mari Foster – three people with a common goal of wanting to bring a world of high quality music to Water Valley, primarily via the theater located in the former location of the Other Other Place building supply store.

Musician Kevin Guyer teamed with Eddie and Mari Foster to create the new music venue Foster Music and Arts in Water Valley. Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Kevin Guyer teamed with Eddie and Mari Foster to create the new music venue Foster Music and Arts in Water Valley.
Photo by Jeff McVay

After months of serious renovations, Melonvine Marketplace is taking shape and the Old School Theater has been created as well. The stage had long since disappeared, but the skeleton of the room was still intact and a beautiful new stage built in its place.

Although not totally complete, Foster Music & Arts is off like a rocket and is based primarily at the Melonvine Marketplace’s theater.

Musician Alana Mosley played a set at Melonvine Marketplace on Tuesday, April 19. Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Alana Mosley played a set at Melonvine Marketplace on Tuesday, April 19.
Photo by Jeff McVay

Check out the video below of Alanna Mosley playing at the new venue. Mosley will be opening for Paul Thorn on Saturday, June 4.

Foster Music & Arts has a mission of cultivating live music in North Mississippi and producing a variety of shows — from national touring acts capable of filling the 250-seat auditorium to the same kind of smaller singer-songwriter evenings Guyer and the Fosters have put on in the past.

If Guyer and the Fosters earlier efforts at several other music venues proved anything, it was that there are people all over North Mississippi hungry for live music in a comfortable venue, at a reasonable time of night, at a moderate volume and for a reasonable price. It also proved that – on the other end – touring musicians and local musicians alike want to play that sort of venue.

Paul Thorn is set for the first show at the Foster Music & Art  theatre on June 4. Photo courtesy of Paul Thorn/Facebook
Paul Thorn is set for the first show at the Foster Music & Art theatre on June 4.
Photo courtesy of Paul Thorn/Facebook
Guyer and the Fosters decided they wanted to kick things off by filling the place with a major show, so they booked one of the biggest acts in North Mississippi – Paul Thorn who is set for the theatre on June 4.

The Tupelo singer/songwriter and bandleader boasts a healthy 49,000 Facebook fan base, fills auditoriums around the country, tours widely and is respected around the world. It is going to be a big night. Stay tuned to HottyToddy.com in the coming weeks for more information on Thorn.

All shows will be sponsored in part by the generous support of The Caryl Company and the Melonvine Marketplace as well as additional local supporters.

The attached gallery and video (top) was shot last night (Tuesday, April 19) at a “soft” opening – an introduction of sorts for members of the press and patrons of the venue. The amazing night of music, food and frivolity featured a plethora of Lafayette and Yalobusha County’s favorite musicians… just because. Vocalist Lisa Harrison is featured in the top video – giving a small preview of the amazing sound the venue possesses.

Take a look at the short, embedded video toward the middle of this post as Kevin Guyer and Eddie Foster explain the intricacies and history of the new project. After that – get ready to rock out with Paul Thorn on Saturday, June 4.

For more information about Foster Music & Arts, visit its Facebook page: Facebook.com/FosterMusicArts or by phone at 662-473-7143.

Vocalist Lisa Harrison wowed the crown last night at Foster Music & Arts - flashing back to her Hot Dang roots during her Big Truck Theater days in Taylor. Photo by Jeff McVay
Vocalist Lisa Harrison wowed the crown last night at Foster Music & Arts – flashing back to her Hot Dang roots during her Big Truck Theater days in Taylor.
Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Kevin Guyer (left) and Luke Fisher. Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Kevin Guyer (left) and Luke Fisher.
Photo by Jeff McVay
Rock steady Bud Bays plays at Foster Music & Arts on Tuesday, April 19. Photo by Jeff McVay
Rock steady Bud Bays plays at Foster Music & Arts on Tuesday, April 19.
Photo by Jeff McVay
Photographer Joey Brent was in the house, representing Invitation Oxford. Photo by Jeff McVay
Photographer Joey Brent was in the house, representing Invitation Oxford.
Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Tony Boyd Photo by Jeff McVay
Musician Tony Boyd
Photo by Jeff McVay
Musicians Kevin Guyer (left) and Luke Fisher. Photo by Jeff McVay
Musicians Kevin Guyer (left) and Luke Fisher.
Photo by Jeff McVay

Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com

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