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There's Nothing Standard about Standard Deluxe

The grassroots music venue in Waverly, Alabama is set to hold the Heart of Waverly Festival next week, and we're certain by the end of the day it'll hold your heart as well.

All photos courtesy of Standard Deluxe.

Standard Deluxe is a Southern enigma. The 27 year old print shop and music venue combo is found in the tiny town of Waverly, Alabama. Never heard of it? Doesn't matter. The under-the-radar, grassroots vibe is part of Standard Deluxe's magic - and trust us when we say there's simply nowhere else like it.

At first glance, Standard Deluxe may appear a bit understated compared to its competitors, but to say their model is working would be quite an understatement. Sure, Standard Deluxe is a small operation, but they're also a really big deal.

Standard Deluxe was founded by owner Scott Peek as a print and design studio in 1991. Almost thirty years later, the company's resume now includes printing specialty paper goods and textiles for major influencers across the music industry like the Civl Wars, SXSW, and the War Eagle Supper Club. What's more? Standard Deluxe's venue and concert series have led the music venue to becoming one of the most significant hot spots in Southern music culture.

The History

Originally from Ozark, Alabama, Peek graduated from Auburn in 1987 ("War Eagle!") and spent a little time in Birmingham and Auburn before deciding to pack up and head out in search of somewhere to put down some new roots and setup shop. After driving for awhile, he fell in love with a little place in downtown Waverly, Alabama. That little place is now Standard Deluxe, and it's still the only business on Mayberry Avenue to this day.

"We've worked with a lot of great people. I've had the pleasure of having a lot of really talented people collaborate on designs for us," said Peek in an interview this week. "It's been amazing to work with so many different bands and festivals on projects over the years. The fun thing now is that from week to week I never know who's going to be on the other end of the phone with our next idea."

Waverly itself is only three miles square and was almost wiped off the face of the earth in the late 1990's by a plan to extend US Highway 280. The four lane bypass runs from Birmingham to Columbus, but once upon a time it had a different route.

"A lot of little towns were affected by the bypass, and we were supposed to be one of those towns," Peek said sadly. "The bypass should not come through here. It's too small of a place. Houses on both sides of the road would have been completely destroyed."

Thankfully, state officials came to their senses and decided to reroute the original plans for 280 to go around Waverly instead of smack through the center of it.

"Our roads are concrete roads built by the WPA," said Peek. "Although Waverly is not a historic town, the fact the WPA built our roads prevented them from being able to take them out and replace them with the bypass."

The decision saved Waverly, and little did they know, started a bit of a movement.

After hearing of Waverly's preservation, Peek and several townsfolk threw together a little celebratory event he called "The Old 280 Boogie." Folks gathered for a picnic and a small concert of regional bands to celebrate the town's survival, and before they left they asked Peek when he was hosting it again. He obliged, and as the seasons passed, Standard Deluxe's friends just kept coming back for more.

The Pine Hill Haints have played 17 out of 18 Waverly Boogies at Standard Deluxe.

Eighteen years after the first event took place, the Waverly Boogie has developed into a semi-annual tradition. The Boogie (as it's affectionately called by locals) brings together top musical acts from across the South. Past concerts have included Jason Isbell, Charles Bradley, Shinyribs, Junior Brown. Agents vie for a slot for their latest up-and-coming acts to play in Waverly, and many performers swear it's one of their favorite performance venues of all time.

The Property

After almost 30 years, the property owned by Peek now spans nearly an entire block with a big garden, two VRBO rental properties (The Pad and The Standard Deluxe House), Peek's home, a little music house for intimate concerts, and the outdoor stage area.

"We rent out our VRBO houses for guests coming to football games and events," said Peek. "The rest of the property is set up to host events for anywhere from 50 to about 1,000 people. We've built an outdoor kitchen near the outdoor stage area. It's called The Feed Shak and it's got a barbecue pit and a brick oven. We setup our vendors there. Then, last Spring we connected it to the Standard Deluxe House with a pavilion, so we can host farmers markets as well."

Peek's print studio is located just 100 yards away. "Everything is right here. My print shop is in the little downtown area across the street from our post office. We still have a little post office out here," explained Peek proudly.

The Heart of Waverly

Next weekend, Standard Deluxe will host their Heart of Waverly BBQ on July 28. The all day music festival will bring in major talent from across the South including the Futurebirds, Alvin Youngblood Hart's Muscle Theory, BB Palmer, Nikki & The Phantom Callers, and Brett McDaniel & the Fellers. In addition to live music, Standard Deluxe is bringing in some of their favorite local BBQ vendors, artists, and farms. Guests can expect a stellar roundup of Southern culture, and should purchase their tickets ASAP.

When asked about visitors from Columbus, Peek was excited to hear of local interest in the festival."Waverly's an easy 40 minute drive from Columbus," Peek said. "Turn at the Waverly Business District sign, or just plug our address into your gps and it'll should get you here."

If you're planning to attend the all-day festival, make sure to bring chairs and know that glass, dogs, and parking in the cemetery are prohibited.

If you meet Peek (who also goes by Pappy), tell him we sent you. He'll undoubtedly welcome you with the kind of Southern hospitality Standard Deluxe's brand naturally evokes.

"We've got a great environment with great people," said Peek in a message to visitors. "Come on out and bring your family. We'd love to have you."

So what makes Standard Deluxe so successful? Maybe it's their devotion to their signature quirky Southern aesthetic, maybe it's the crowd they bring together, or maybe it's just that Peek and his colleagues put down something worth returning to every year.

"We've got a great environment with great people," said Peek in a message to visitors. "Come on out and bring your family. We'd love to have you."

No matter what's made it a top destination for music lovers across the South, we're certain a trip to Standard Deluxe should be in your weekend plans ASAP. Check out their list of upcoming events below, and book your tickets early! We hear it tends to be one heck of a good time. ◼︎

Connect with Standard Deluxe:

Instagram (@standard_deluxe)

Standard Deluxe 2018 Event Lineup:

August 4, September 1, October 1- First Saturday Market

September 9- Little House Concert (Artist TBA)

October 27: - Fall Boogie #7


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