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$31,227 pledged of $50,000 goal
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By Jay, Kim, Rick & Chuck
$31,227 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About this project

Chances are, if you’ve lived in Charlotte for more than a decade and are a fan of Blues, Reggae, Zydeco, Ska, or Americana music, you saw it performed first at The Double Door Inn. There are countless tales of first-dates, celebrity sightings, guest musicians, careers launched, and at least one wedding held at this once smoky nightclub. But, like so many other live music venues in our fair city— including Kidnapper’s, The Pterodactyl, 1313 Club, and Tremont Music Hall—The Double Door Inn will soon go silent.

All photos taken by Daniel Coston & used with his permission
All photos taken by Daniel Coston & used with his permission

 Over the course of 43 years, the club has hosted many stars on its stage. Stevie Ray Vaughan played here in October of 1979. Eric Clapton performed to an audience of fewer than 100 people in June of 1982. In 1994, the Blues Foundation named The Double Door Inn Club of the Year, for their work to keep the Blues alive. In 2002, the Avett Brothers recorded their second album, Live at The Double Door Inn. A decade later, they were performing at the Grammy Awards.

Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers
Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers

Countless bands in the region owe their start to brothers, Nick and Matt Karres, and The Double Door Inn. For every Buddy Guy, Steve Earle, John Hammond and Koko Taylor who graced the intimate stage at DDI, there are a dozen Lou Fords, Federal Bureaus of Rock & Roll, and Rank Outsiders; local and regional bands who played weeknights regularly and developed loyal fan bases at the only place in town that offered live music seven days a week.

So the good news, unlike many of the aforementioned clubs, is that there is time to keep the music alive at The Double Door Inn, if only for five months or so, since the official closing date is January 2nd, 2017. Some remarkable musicians are already booked to revisit the Double Door stage and others will be announced soon.

Tony Joe White
Tony Joe White

With that in mind, four longtime Charlotte residents are producing the "official" documentary about the fans, the staff, the promoters, and the performers that have made The Double Door Inn a Charlotte institution.

Endorsed and encouraged by club owner Nick Karres, Kim Brattain, an Emmy award-winning journalist and longtime anchorwoman at WSOC; with business partner Rick Fitts at Kim Brattain Media, previously a producer at WTVI; Chuck Bludsworth, president and creative director of Civilized Films; and Jay Ahuja, author, live music aficionado and media veteran of local print, radio, and TV, are teaming up to preserve this important story. While we may not be able to save The Double Door Inn, with your Kickstarter donation, we can damn sure make certain that it’s never forgotten!

Here’s a partial list who we’ve already talked to or hope to include in the film:

~ Lenny Federal

~ Bill Noonan

~ Jim Brock

~ Doubting Thomas

~Mookie Brill

~ Bill Hanna

~Rusty Barkley

~ Jo Dawkins

~ Gregg McCraw

~ Maureen O’Boyle

~ Beth Pollhammer

~ Colonel Tom Hartley

~ Joe Cadieu

~ Mr. Roy

~ Daniel Coston

~Bruce Hensley

~ Larry Sprinkle

~ Rick Booth

~ Dilliard Richardson

~ Terri Bennett

~ Buddy Guy

~ Avett Brothers

~ Eric Clapton

~ Steve Earle

~ Joe Ely

~The Spongetones

~ Blue Dogs

~ Bob Margolin

~ Tinsley Ellis

~ Buckwheat Zydeco

We also hope to speak with longtime fans, city officials, and of course, current and former staffers, like Marshall Bain, Wendell Elliott, Mike Martin and, of course, Nick Karres. In fact, some of those interviews have already taken place, as you may have seen in the trailer.

Alejandro Escovedo 1997
Alejandro Escovedo 1997

A project of this magnitude and scope requires time and money. If we successfully reach our fundraising goals, we plan to use that revenue to pay for the following:

~Music licensing fees

~Archival usage fees

~Digitalization of archival footage

~Post-production costs (sound, lighting, editing, etc.)

~Audio & print restoration ~DVD production & printing

~Premiums for donors (commemorative posters, DVDs, guitar picks, etc.)

~travel/location costs ~printing and promotion

~preview event (A/V equipment, venue & staffing)

~insurance

~legal representation

Kickstarter is an incredible resource for documentarians, but it’s all-or-nothing endeavor. If we do not reach our goal, we cannot make this film. Your support, in any amount, is critical.

Levon Helm in 2000
Levon Helm in 2000

Fundraising Goal

Our minimum revenue goal for this documentary is $50,000. If we exceed that minimum, we can conduct more interviews and invest more time and energy on post-production, and a first-rate, finished product. We hope to offer this 1080 HD documentary to film festivals and public TV stations, which may determine the length of the finished documentary, but we have no control over their decision to broadcast the documentary. If we exceed the revenue goal, we can produce and package a longer film with bonus features, bloopers and outtakes.

 Kim, Rick, Chuck and Jay have been attending shows at The Double Door Inn since we were old enough to get in. At least one of us—not naming any names—didn’t even wait that long. We are all dedicated to meeting the deadlines proposed in this Kickstarter effort and keeping our promise to Nick and everybody else at The Double Door Inn: to make this a top-notch, inclusive documentary that we can all be proud of and will be happy to own on Blu-Ray DVD as a keepsake.

If you scroll back to the top of the page, on the right you'll see rewards that represent our way of thanking you for supporting this project--ranging from a Facebook Shout Out to Invitations to a Private Preview Party--for donations of $10 to $250. There are also Presenting & Title sponsor opportunities if your organization would like to get involved.

With your support, we can document and preserve the history of all the great music and great people we got to know thanks to Nick and The Double Door Inn. Thanks for supporting live music in Charlotte and for visiting our Kickstarter page.

Risks and challenges

The primary challenge we face is time, or a lack of it. The Double Door Inn is closing in roughly 5 months, so we have no more than 30 days to get this documentary financed, another 60 days to finish recording interviews and performances, and 30 days to produce a Blu-Ray DVD in time for a private preview party at the club.

Nick Karres, Daniel Coston, Gregg McCraw, and everybody else has been bending over backwards to provide history, photos, names and contacts, so we are confident we can pull this off. Having said that, the sooner we reach our goal, the sooner we can resume recording interviews and performances.

The second challenge we face is catching up with everybody on our target list and being able to coordinate schedules and get an interview in the can. We intentionally cast a wide net, knowing not everybody will be available. The good news is that we already have hours of interviews and b-roll footage digitally recorded, so we are certain that we can produce a documentary worthy of The Double Door Inn's remarkable history.

We expect to submit the finished documentary to film festivals and make it available to public TV, but there is no guarantee that they'll accept it and show it, so it's essential that we produce a high-definition Blu-Ray DVD that will serve as a keepsake for Nick and the staff, for the countless musicians who performed there, and for the thousands of live music fans who feel as strongly as we do that The Double Door Inn has a history that is well worth preserving.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Facebook "Shout Out."

    We cannot produce a DVD to commemorate all the great music and fun times we've all had at The Double Door Inn unless we meet or exceed our fundraising goal. It's all or nothing, so every bit helps get us there.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital download of "I'm Gonna Miss It."

    A new, original song, "I'm Gonna Miss It," written about The Double Door Inn by Randy Franklin and performed by Randy and Lenny Federal. Recorded at Knothole Recording Studio.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Black & white 3" x 5" bumper sticker

    Thank you note from The Double Door Inn and a classic sticker with The Double Door Inn logo

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    8"x10" watercolor painting print

    A print of Erin McDermott's colorful painting of The Double Door Inn exterior.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Blu-Ray DVD

    A keepsake copy of the documentary film "Live From The Double Door Inn" with performance footage and interviews of musicians, promoters and fans. Complete with liner notes about history and photos.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Blu-Ray DVD, poster, guitar pick & more.

    A keepsake copy of the documentary film "Live From The Double Door Inn" with performance footage and interviews of musicians, promoters and fans. Complete with liner notes about history and photos. Guitar pick with TDDI logo, limited edition 11" x17" black & white poster and acknowledgement as a sponsor of the DVD in the on-screen credits.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Private preview party at TDDI & more.

    Invitation for two to the private preview party at The Double Door Inn, tentatively scheduled for the evening of Thursday, December 8th. Time TBD. Plus a limited edition 11" x 17" poster, guitar pick, bumper sticker, copy of the Blu-Ray DVD, recognition in on-screen credits and liner notes.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Presenting Sponsor

    One of each from above, including two reserved seats and an enthusiastic mention at the private preview event, as well as listing as a presenting sponsor in on-screen graphics and in the DVD packaging.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Title Sponsor

    Four prime reserved seats and four goodie bags, each with a DVD, poster, guitar pick, sticker and an updated, signed copy of Daniel Coston's book, Home of the Blues. As well as an enthusiastic mention at the private preview event, and a listing as the title sponsor in on-screen graphics and in the DVD packaging.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Angel Investor

    Keep this project alive and we'll shower you with rewards and appreciation. Everything mentioned above and anything else we can think of to thank you.

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Funding period

- (43 days)