Cozy up and un­plug. Unique venues are go­ing in­ti­mate with live bands, song­writ­ers and drinks that warm from the in­side out.

Midwest Living - - Contents - WRITER Ti­mothy Meinch

Think small. Low ceil­ings and bat­tered bar tops in a lounge. A makeshift plat­form, or no stage at all, in a his­toric ho­tel. Lis­ten­ers gath­ered in a fam­ily room, hang­ing on to ev­ery sung word and a beer they brought from home. Scaled­down new spa­ces (and some old) are cre­at­ing in­ti­mate mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ences. Af­ter the hol­i­day com­mo­tion, they feel like a warm blan­ket for the cold, dark­est months of the year.

You can hear jazz over week­end brunch at a Kansas City bar. Sum­mon the bare­foot vibes of sum­mer at an in­door mu­sic fest. Or catch an ex­clu­sive house show fea­tur­ing a na­tional act. Bet­ter yet, you could host one at your own place, thanks to a new Des Moines start-up. The band gets all the pro­ceeds; you get all the brag­ging rights.

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