Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

The sounds of Nashville light up the Club Room

Schmit’s group to bring its ’90s country sound


Steve Penhollow

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 20, 2021

It would be hard to overemphasize the success of the Club Room’s themed music nights.

Out of the gate, the weeknights devoted to regional blues and jazz acts and to lineups curated by WBOI’s resident musicologist Julia Meek were hugely popular.

Then COVID-19 happened, and the newly expanded Club Room at the Clyde became one of the few places in town where you could see live bands perform on a full stage without feeling like you were flouting state pandemic guidelines. 

Concentration on Country

Recently, the Clyde Theatre’s executive director Gregg Coyle added another evening of entertainment to the weekly mix: Nashville Thursday.  

Every Thursday, local country music scion Hubie Ashcraft will bring in an act that falls under the “Nashville” rubric. 

A special menu featuring a Nashville hot chicken sandwich and “cowboy nachos” will be offered. 

Now, Nashville Thursday won’t always feature country music. Anyone who has recently been to Nashville (Tennessee, not Indiana) knows that the music mecca has more going on inside and around it than just country. 

But there will be a lot of country music. 

Area country music fans have been underserved since the Neon Armadillo and Rusty Spur went out of business. 

Local interest in country hasn’t waned a bit, however, Coyle said. 

“With the Clyde, our country shows are home runs every time,” he said. “People line up at 7 in the morning for a general admission show.”

Assembled Chemistry

Tonight, the Club Room will play host to Lima, Ohio’s Kaitlyn Schmit and the Move. 

Listen to one of the live stream concerts that Schmit performed during the pandemic, you will fully appreciate the breadth of the band’s musical tastes.

“We definitely are a good variety of stuff,” Schmit said in a phone interview with Whatzup. “My personal favorite: I grew up on ’90s country/pop music, so I think a lot of the stuff I write is more on the pop side.” 

The formation of the band happened in an atypical way. 

Schmit spent her teenage years performing solo in coffeehouses. Her dad met a fan of his daughter’s music in a local bar and the guy got to talking about how Schmit needed a band to back her up. 

He happened to be a booker of Ohio musicians, so he took it upon himself to assemble one. 

These sorts of “arranged marriages” in the music business don’t always work, but this random collection of musicians jelled in a big way. 

The man’s managerial/promotional relationship with the band didn’t go beyond a huge argument he had with the sound guy, Schmit said.

But there’s no denying how much the man’s knowledge of the talent in that region contributed to band members’ current reciprocal chemistry. 

Ready for bold moves

2020 was supposed to be the year the band made bold moves, Schmit said, but the pandemic halted those marching orders.

Sheltering-in-place paid some unexpected dividends, however. The band made fans in distant climes via streaming shows and wrote some music that might not have otherwise gotten written. 

The band hopes to have a full-length CD out before too long, but Schmit admits that she’s a little shy about her originals. 

“The next step for me is just to show people the stuff that I’m writing,” she said. “I’ve got a notebook full of them at home, but I can’t even show them to my boyfriend, who is also my bass player. I get too embarrassed to even show anybody.”

Chances are good that not many people around here have heard of Kaitlyn Schmit and the Move, but it’s a band you’ll want to take a chance on tonight. The musicianship is high, Schmit’s voice is powerful and dexterous, and the “mutual admiration society” formed by the members translates to a lot of evident fun on stage.

You may even get to buy them shots afterward. 

But you’ll want to watch a particular streaming concert beforehand: the one in which the band members’ liquor preferences are exhaustively addressed. 

Schmit’s career goals are modest. 

“I want people to come see us and genuinely have a great time, but also be wowed by our song choices and the way we play them and make them our own,” she said. “I want them to see our personalities though our performance and I want them to keep coming back for more.”

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