The town of Waverly, Tennessee is a perfect snapshot into a life most thought long gone. Small, charming, neighborly, real; all values that harken back to times gone by, but as neighbors greet one another in the street, families throw celebrations together, and the brand new music venue boasts a “Bring Your Own Picnic” option to enjoy your own kind of supper while music radiates from the stage, these values are alive and well in living color.
SoulShine, a joint venture between Tayla Lynn, Jon Cody Finger, and Robby & Jerri Lynn Sims and Anthony & Kayla Sims, is a labor of love dedicated to the town of Waverly- where each business partner chooses to call home and raise their families. SoulShine isn’t just another jukebox joint ripped from Broadway down in Nashville; the business partners have purposely cultivated a relaxed atmosphere for live performances including an 18+ age limit to promote date nights, a unique bring your own food and drink option, and a wide range of musical stylings in their performers. Robby Sims commented on wanting to open the venue because “live music in a small, up-close and personal setting is one of my favorite things and I wanted to bring that to downtown Waverly.” Jon Cody Finger added that “one of our family’s greatest passions is music, from all sides. Writing, performing, and how it can be used to bring people together [is important to us]. Waverly is full of talented musicians and lovers of music, but it was lacking a place for people to gather and enjoy that music as a community.” With nine children between the three couples, all four business partners understand the need for a place to go out that is comfortable, safe, and relaxed – that isn’t all the way down in Nashville. A main goal of the partners was to create a space for Waverly’s citizens to relax and have fun in their own town, putting their hard earned money right back into something in their community that would be a direct benefit for all.
Tayla Lynn, granddaughter of Miss Loretta Lynn who’s Hurricane Mills ranch is just up the road in Humphreys County, has a deep connection to Waverly and an even deeper desire to give back to the town that has given her family so much. “My family has roots here and my grandparents started a small business up the road, so Waverly is in my blood. My mama met my daddy here. Their love story started in this town. Both sets of grandparents raised their kids here, and my cousins grew up in this place. Waverly is home, and this community is loyal, fun, helpful, and full of integrity. I’m a performer, an entertainer, and most of all a lover of people. Bringing people together in the name of music in Waverly is a blessing.” Anthony and Robby Sims were born and raised in Waverly, and Anthony shares the same sentiment about the town, “I love this small town community where people love people.”
In addition to Lynn’s musical background, the other three business partners have been involved in music for much of their lives. The Sims brothers grew up in a household with their father playing guitar and banjo, and both play the guitar today. Finger brings a different kind of experience in music: “I have a background in researching how music influences people and how music can be used to link artists, listeners, and brands together. In the past I’ve assisted in building companies that are business music providers, such as Spotify Business. I also worked with Amazon, providing global development services.” Today, however, Finger focuses on their beloved hometown, now running a goat farm and putting the majority of his time into getting SoulShine up and running.
Anthony and Robby Sims have high hopes for SoulShine music venue in the community of Waverly. When asked what their hopes for the future in Waverly were, Anthony commented “I really wanted to provide a place for people to have a good time with great entertainment and to give back to our community,” while his brother Robby added “My hope is that our little venue becomes a sought after ticket and continues to grow. I’m not necessarily concerned with the profit standpoint, but I want this place to become a spot the community is truly excited about.”
SoulShine is hosting artists from all musical genres and hopes to offer concerts on a weekly basis on Friday and Saturday evenings. The venue is open to outside food and drink, so grab a ticket, pack a picnic and your favorite drinks, and head to downtown Waverly for a night of excellent music and friends. Tayla, more than likely, will be there to welcome you with open arms and her thousand-watt smile. Jon, Robby, and Anthony will be sure to give you a pat on the back and a good conversation. After all, in Waverly, everyone is family. Head on down to SoulShine, a spectacular place of community, love, and music, and stay a while.
Bluebird Cafe & Tennessee Tourism Open Mic Night for Songwriters: February 23
Don’t miss SoulShine’s Flash sales for the storefront every Monday and Friday on FB Live at 10:00 am with Tayla Lynn Music!