If you’re looking for a place to hear classic or rare tunes, drink a beer and mingle with other music fans, then Tuesdays in the Forest is the place. Every Tuesday hosts a vinyl-only DJ night with Dave Lawson.
Lawson plus a different, weekly guest DJ spin records from their large and diverse collections. The Forest part is the lush little corner in The Loving Touch where ivy grows toward the skylight.
Tuesdays in the Forest is the brainchild bartender Carey Gustafson and Richard Wohlfeil, who plays in bands Chain and the Gang and Mother Whale.
“Richie was guest DJing down the street and popped in for a visit,” Gustafson said. "He really liked the room and said he'd like to do a weekly DJ gig with me - vinyl only. I thought that was perfect, especially on Tuesdays, a famously slow night to work!”
For Wohlfeil the appeal was in the freedom of choice. “I started it so I could have a DJ gig where I played whatever I wanted,” he said. “I asked Carey what the slowest night of the week was so I could build a crowd from scratch by playing records I was into.”
In the two years that Wohlfeil ran the night, the audience grew and many local musicians and record collectors got to spin their vinyl. Wohlfeil has passed the torch to Lawson so he can go on a European tour with Chain and the Gang.
The format is straightforward - Lawson and his guest (or guests) play one song each, alternating turns. The result is the essence of Tuesdays in the Forest, and the reason why it’s become so popular.
“It’s fun to have a guest or two. You’re geeking out on the records you love all night,” Lawson said, whose band Pop Project is currently working on a new album.
Lawson said this atmosphere draws in other music fans and creates a sense of community, where people share their love of music and sometimes their own records, which he encourages patrons to bring.
Lawson makes a mixtape out of the first 90 minutes of the night and gives it to one lucky person. He posts the full playlist of Tuesdays in the Forest on its Facebook group each week, so fans can find a favorite track from the night before.
Lawson’s record collection ranges from pop to soul to old country-western. A recent estate sale trip turned up a cache of pristine Motown vinyl owned by a former Motown executive, Lawson said.
“I felt like his collection was being passed on to me,” he said.
His love of vinyl is partly about supporting the music community and partly about the hunt. “It can seem fated, like, that record was meant to find me," he added.
Matt Smith of Outrageous Cherry will sample his record collection when he guests with Dave Lawson on Tuesday.
Tuesdays in the Forest takes place at the Loving Touch.