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Benjamin Love is photographed Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in his rehearsal space, Love's Studio, which will open in December for local musicians in Chattanooga, Tenn. The rehearsal space is located in the Lupton Building on Georgia Avenue.
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Staff photo by Doug Strickland / Benjamin Love is photographed Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in his rehearsal space, Love's Studio, which will open in December for local musicians in Chattanooga, Tenn. The rehearsal space is located in the Lupton Building on Georgia Avenue.

To book

Any musicians, artists and improv groups looking to book Love’s Studio Space can email lovesbookinginfo@gmail.com.

 

In a century-old building downtown that's best known in recent years as a storage complex, a handful of musicians and artists have found a new haven in which to develop their craft.

Love's Studio is the most recent local rehearsal and creative space to open in Chattanooga and, with a list of people who have already begun to rent the facility, it's poised to become a thriving, niche business. It helps that it is located on the first floor of the Lupton building on Georgia Avenue, right in the heart of the city's lauded innovation district.

Offering a full sound system as well as access to a drum kit, piano, microphones and stands, the studio was designed with artists in mind.

"A lot of people are still creating in their kitchen or their basement," says Benjamin Love, owner and manager of the space.

Right now, the furnishings are sparse — a few plants, vintage couches and oriental carpets are scattered toward one end of the single open room — while the 15-foot-high white walls stretch up into a ceiling painted black. The space makes you feel that you're surrounded by open canvases, ready for whoever walks through the door.

Love says that feeling was intentional.

"We wanted it to be a blank space for artists," he says.

Part of the attraction of Love's Studio is that, with only unused furniture and people's dusty belongings serving as neighbors in the building above, there isn't anyone to complain about the "noise." Musicians are free to rehearse as long and loudly as they want.

Chattanooga's Dan Nelson, lead guitarist for Thatcher and also Focus Fox, two alternative rock groups, says that seclusion is a major draw for the studio.

"We started in Australia and, when we were out there, none of us had places we could actually rehearse. We didn't have a garage; none of us had a house where we could just beat on drums until two in the morning," he says.

When Nelson moved back to Chattanooga a year ago after his stint in Australia he stumbled over the studio through friends who also knew Love. He has been using the space regularly ever since. Love only charges $20 an hour, which is $5 or $10 an hour cheaper than other rehearsal spaces he's seen.

"We've been using it pretty much on a weekly basis," he says.

Aside from the dollar savings, Nelson says the real benefit of rehearsing or recording at Love's is the flexibility of hours, which allows musicians to play whatever, whenever, even late at night.

"Most guys in bands have day jobs, so your opportunity to rehearse is sometime after dinner usually, and that's not when people want to be hearing a full drum kit and a bass rattling their windows," he says.

The collection of people who already use the space is eclectic; among the regulars are a rap group, a metal band, an improv theater troupe and a painter who has created several large-scale works in the rehearsal space.

All that diversity was on display Saturday during the studio's official grand opening. Several local musicians who have used the space performed, including The House, a rap group, as well as Rick Rushing and the Blues Strangers, Thatcher and Kindora, which is a mix of pop and R&B.

"We're bringing out some of the best names in Chattanooga," Love said before the event. "And I've never been to a show with a rap group and an indie band."

Shoey, a deejay in The House who had a job playing music for a dance party after the Love's Studio show, says he and the rest of the guys appreciate Love's as "just something different."

"We haven't really been in a space like that here," he says. "It's just something that needs to be known that is here in Chattanooga."

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731. Follow on Twitter @emmettgienapp.

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