A house concert is an opportunity to experience live music in an intimate environment. It is the chance to see wonderful artists in the comfort of a living room or other small private space, often without the barriers of a stage or sound system. Hosts invite some of their favorites aritsts to come perform for friends and neighbors. House concerts are a way of building community. They are private events that are invitation only. These are social events not a business.
Typically, 100% of house concert donations go to the visiting artist(s) so it’s an effective way of supporting performers who don’t normally get heard except on community radio stations. Wealthy people can always hire their own musicians and invite their friends. House concerts allow neighbors and friends to participate in a potluck sharing both food and entertainment.
Where are your house concerts held?
Our shows are held in the great room of our home. Our home is located off Magnolia Road west of Boulder, CO. We’re between Boulder (25 minutes) and Nederland (20 minutes).
What performers have played in your living room?
We have hosted Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, David Olney, Greg Greenway, John McVey, TR Ritchie, Alice DiMicele, Slaid Cleaves, Judith Edelman, Leslie Tucker, Chris Rosser, Johnsmith, Small Potatoes, Terri Allard, Brooks Williams, Christopher Williams, Louise Taylor, Tom Prasada-Rao, Cliff Eberhardt, GrooveLily, Ruthie Foster, Bill Ward, Pierce Pettis, Eleni Kelakos, Annie Gallup, Peter Mayer, Dan Pelletier, Dana Robinson, Vance Gilbert, LJ Booth, Michael Lille, Brian Joseph, Darryl Purpose, Jack Williams, Tom Kimmel, The Sherpas, Zoe Lewis, David Lamotte, Eliot Bronson, Caroline Herring, Caroline Aiken, Cosy Sheridan, Chuck Pyle, Kate McDonnell, Rachel Garlin, Rebecca Folsom, Joe Jencks, Kris Delmhorst, The Kennedys, The Mammals, Vienna Teng, Jonathan Byrd and Dromedary, Ashley Maher, Mark Erelli, John William Davis, Billy Jonas, The Duhks, Terri Hendrix with Lloyd Maines, Crooked Still, Erica Wheeler, Ronny Cox, David Jacobs-Strain, Carrie Newcomer, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, The Wiyos, Freebo & Photoglo, Abigail Washburn, Uncle Earl, Joe Crookston, Steppin’ In It, Eric Schwartz, Richard Shindell, Ellis Paul, Boulder Acoustic Society, Peter Mulvey, Lucy Kaplansky, Luminescent Orchestrii, Antje Duvekot, Willson & McKee, Mary Gauthier, and The Deadly Gentlemen.
I am a performer and would like to perform in your series, can I?
We only host 12 concerts per year so it’s vital we feel passionate about each of our invited performers. Our focus is on nationally touring musicians. We are contacted by many artists more than that. Many of our audience members are completely unfamiliar with the artists we present. They depend on us to present artists they will enjoy. So we only book artists whom we have seen perform live. While we are sure that you have great references, we depend on our response to your performance to guide us in making booking decisions. Because we want to be able to present artists on their first trip through our area, we attend Folk Alliance conferences, house concerts, and occasional festivals throughout North America. After reviewing our past artists list, if you think we might have a fit and you are coming to the Boulder area or attending conferences we might be at, please let us know as early as possible. We’ll do our best to try to catch you live. Note that we start (and sometimes complete) our booking in July for the following year (6 to 18 months in advance of the performance date).
Each house concert series has their own booking schedule. It’s possible other Front Range house concerts may have openings that work better for your tour schedule.
If we’ve never seen you live and you are a performer visiting Colorado for the first time, we suggest you find a devoted fan on your mailing list who will host their first house concert for you!
What can I do to help?
Thanks for asking.
If you’re in walking distance, please walk over. Otherwise, carpooling makes a huge difference in keeping traffic down in our neighborhood. Driving slowly through our neighborhood is much appreciated by all. Please park on our property and not in our small court.
In the kitchen, if you stack your plates separate from the bowls and flatware in the sink it allows us to load the dishwasher faster. Soaking the silverware separate from the plates and bowls allows more to be under water. Knowing what to compost, recycle, and trash helps. Picking up after folks who leave cloth napkins, soda cans, or other items in the living room avoids spills.
Forming a human chain to get the folding chairs back down into the basement is great!
And while it sounds a bit contrived, buying CDs from the visiting artists if you enjoyed their music allows them to come back to house concerts.
And finally, if you are willing to help, we will gratefully accept non-deductible contributions to our house concert legal defense.
How long are the shows?
We start the evening with an optional potluck at 6 pm. We try to start the shows promptly at 7 pm. There are two sets, with a break in the middle to give you the opportunity to use the bathroom, get some dessert and buy cd’s to take home with you. We are almost always finished by 9:30 pm.
How can I get road conditions information?
Feel free to call us the day of the show. You can also check Nederland weather (though we are often fine while Nederland has snow) or visit some of the local webcams such as DivideCam
If I don’t have an e-mail address can I still join your mailing list?
To keep our costs low as we give 100% of all contributions to the artists, we only use electronic mail. Most public libraries offer free internet access and there are numerous free e-mail providers. Since we typically post announcements three weeks before a show and you can make reservations for future shows anytime by using our online reservation system or in person (at any show you attend), you should have ample opportunity to make your reservations. One of Greg’s personal projects is to cross the digital divide for mountain residents (see Magnolia Road Internet Co-op).
How can I get a website like yours?
Although we had access to free webhosting, we chose to go with SLABmedia because we didn’t have the time, interest, or skills to build this website ourselves. The content management is something we can do very easily, though, and we can give you a demo some time. If you do decide to contact SLABmedia please let them know you found them through us!
How can I start my own house concert series?
House concert series come in all flavors from chamber music to rag-time. Some series are eclectic while others focus on one genre of music. The most important thing to remember is that you must feel genuine enthusiasm about the invited performer. House concerts are truly labors of love as you will most definitely lose money throwing parties. It’s a time consuming hobby but it can provide terrific returns – we are proof that marriages can result from a chance meeting at a house concert!