Everett's Music Barn begins renovations

SUWANEE -- The 41-year-old bluegrass music venue in Suwanee is undergoing a much-needed facelift.

Workers began replacing and installing ceiling and structural beams this week at Everett's Music Barn, the iconic venue that's home to local and national recording artists each Saturday night. Tommy Everett, a longtime sound technician and curator at the barn, said he hopes at least one phase will be finished in the next two weeks.

The facelift includes replacing outside rotten wood, new gutters and having new church pews in January, which are being donated from a church in Lilburn.

The normal Saturday lineup hasn't been interrupted, as the venue hosted local talent this week.

The barn has been around long enough to see youngsters play on stage, then return as national recording artists, such as Alan Bibey and Brian Stephens. But Everett said much of the original building material has been there all those years.

The reason the barn opened at all was a way to console family members following the death of Jerry Everett, who was a police officer and killed in the line of duty in 1964. The Everett Brothers Band, or Everett Family Band, started in their house, then spilled out on the porch. Then in 1971, the barn was opened after material to build it was donated from a Norcross apartment complex.

The barn hosted an all-day benefit concert in October to raise money for the building fund, along with weekly donations from attendees.