The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #118219   Message #2555661
Posted By: GUEST,CupOfTea at work with no scones or cookies
02-Feb-09 - 06:37 PM
Thread Name: House Concerts
Subject: RE: House Concerts
I'm still humming from a house concert last night with long time friends Phil Cooper & Margaret Nelson as the consumate performers (as usual). I've likely presented them as a house concert or main stage concert perhaps 15 times, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

20 years ago I discovered that I was in an IDEAL place for Chicago area friends I met while in grad school to stop on their way to or from the east coast, and soon after returning home, I was lucky enough to present folks who are now "main stage artists" and people from other parts of the country for their first Cleveland gig in my living room- Mustard's Retreat and Lee Murdock among them. As the years went on, I was getting offers from folks who were already main stage artists, to my great delight. I cannot say strongly enough how enhancing to a love of folk music this has been for me, and for the audiences in this sort of an intimate situation.

House concerts weren't unheard of here before me, but they weren't as common either. While also promoting larger hall concerts, our group had gotten a constant barrage of "is it handicapped accessible?" inquiries for every concert. When I had to say "no" to this question for a house concert, my friend Sue offered her accessible home for subsequent house concerts, and there we've done them ever since. Through publicity for previous shows, she was contacted by acts I didn't know, and went ahead and graciously opened her house for them as well. She feels SHE is the one who is getting the best part of the deal. "I've had Anne Hills in my house! And Cindy Mangusen! and..." Huzzahs to anyone who engages in this wonderful pursuit: everyone wins!

In any house concert I've done, my home or others, I've put up the performers who were staying in town (some need to hit the road that night), fed them, made sure they had accurate directions, done flyers and publicity, nagged radio stations with folk programs. (this has several times produced live interviews with the artists and fresh explanation of what a house concert is over the radio to a folk audience). We provide a drink and a light snack, take admission (has ranged from $8 years ago to last night's $15). All admission and record sales go directly to the performers, though we'll collect money to make it easier for them to chat.

It really doesn't get much better than a house concert.

Joanne in Cleveland