The Young Novelists
Cole Nakoa & Treacher
The End of America
Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys with Sara Milonovich
Liam Robinson & Jean Rohe
Jess Klein & Rod Picott
Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche
The Lords of Liechtenstein
Fred Gillen, Jr. & Friends
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line
Joe Crookston & The Bluebird Jubilee with Peter Glanville (and special guest Melissa Greener)
Danny Schmidt with special guest Carrie Elkin
Eleanor Dubinsky/Talia Billig Band
The YaYas & Honor Finnegan
River Spirit Music presents Live@theUpstream
The Whispering Tree
Nathans & Ronstadt
Tim Armacost Trio
Dead Sage acoustic
Lords of Liechtenstein/Marianne Osiel
Riverrun & Friends
RiverArts Music Tour
Susan Kane and Peter Calo
Fred Gillen Jr and Scoot Horton
Curtis & Carla
Pluck & Rail
River Spirit Music presents Music at Andrus on Hudson
Dead Sage & Friends, a Benefit Concert for the ACLU
River Spirit Music presents Music at the Castle (Whitby Castle at the Rye Golf Club) - Summer 2013
River Spirit Music presents Music at Rainwater Grille - 2010-2012
Joe Iadanza & Carolann Solebello
Spuyten Duyvil with The Newton Gang
Brian Dolzani with Sam Kuslan
International Composers Night with the Tim Armacost/Yutaka Shiina Special Quartet
Nick Fanelli's American Ax Guitar Clinic
Rastus Kain & His Band
Bereznak Brothers Band with The Joshua Panda Band
Riley Etheridge, Jr.
Arlon Bennett and Annie Dinerman
Stella Blue's Band with special guest Kat Walkerson of Legion of Jerry
Old No. 7
Matt The Electrician
Acoustic Riverrun (Adam Hart and Ken Tuccillo)
Imagine (There's No Hunger): A Benefit Celebrating the Music of John Lennon with Adam Hart and Ken Tuccillo (Acoustic Riverrun), Andrew Schriever and Doug Schneider (Greetings From Anywhere), David Goldman, Patti Rothberg, Curtis Schmidt, Danny Elias, Doug Munro, Gary Barton and PJ Pacifico
Dion Roy with Peter Roessler
Orphic Dream (Erin Powers & Ben McLoughlin)
River Spirit Music presents Music at Hastings Station Cafe - 2010
Loretta Hagen with Gary Hagen and Sara Gallman
Q. What is a House Concert?
A. A house concert is a chance to experience live music in a warm and intimate environment. It’s when folks open their home and invite you into their living room to share in a performance by one of their favorite musicians. It's a chance to meet the performers and get them to sign and personalize their CDs. A house concert is also a great social evening with friends and neighbors.
We hold our shows in our living room for the added sense of warmth and intimacy that it lends to the performance. On occasion, we may hold a show outside.
Please note: Our house concert series is simply a name we chose to describe our private parties, in our private home. These parties are NOT a business nor are they a business related activity. They are strictly a hobby for us, and are simply gatherings of our friends and guests to enjoy live acoustic music, fellowship, food (a potluck buffet) and fun. Our concert parties are officially free (or else it might be considered a business), although voluntary contributions are accepted at the party on behalf of the artists. 100% of all contributions go directly to the performers. Our guests come by invitation only.
Q. Why would anyone do this?
A. We open up our home to our friends and neighbors because we want to share great music with them. There are few venues around here, where people can go to experience great music in such a close and friendly environment. Great music makes us happy and we want to share that with others around us. These events allow us to give exposure to some incredible musicians whose talents we truly believe in and wish to help promote.
Q. What do you get out of this?
A. We find it strange that some people can't believe we get no economic benefit for doing this. We do it simply for the love of the music. Really! We enjoy sharing great music with those around us. 100% of the suggested donation goes directly to the performers. For us, this is a hobby and we don't mind spending a little to keep our hobby going.
Q. How long have House Concerts been around?
A. There is some debate on this, but House Concerts can be traced back to the Middle Ages when "wandering minstrels" would go from manor house to castle to farmstead, trading stories and songs for an evening's room and board. Certainly, in the 1800s, "parlor parties" were a very popular form of entertainment in theUnited States. The more modern "House Concert" probably evolved in the mid 1900s.
Q. Doesn't it cost you time and money?
A. Yes, it costs us money to host these concerts. We spend money for soft drinks, food, paper plates, cups, napkins, flyers and more. We also spend a great deal of time for the planning and set up of each show, plus all the time sending and reading emails, talking to performers, agents, etc.
Q. How many people can you fit in your home?
A. We can seat about 40 people for our house concerts, but we anticipate that the number will fluctuate a bit. We could squeeze another 5 people, but we consider 40 to be a “full house”. We find that 40 or less people fit quite nicely before it starts feeling too crowded.
We will set up folding chairs for these evenings. When it gets crowded, some people may have to stand in the hallway area. If you want a 'good' seat, you need to get here early. Our house concerts usually start at 5pm on Sundays and doors open 1 hour prior for the potluck dinner. It's a casual atmosphere and we imagine that most people who attend aren't really that concerned with seating. It's a nice room without a bad seat in the house.
We will save seats for people with special circumstances. If you are disabled, pregnant or in need of special seating for a physical reason, please let us know in advance so that we can reserve a space for you. Quiet and well-behaved children are welcome. We don’t have any pets, so anyone with dog/cat allergies should be comfortable as well.
Q. How do you pick your performers?
A. We pick our performers with a combination of the following five methods:
1. We have met many performers at concerts and festivals who have expressed an interest in performing. It’s just a matter of scheduling and availability!
2. We get unsolicited CDs, press kits, and EPKs from musicians around the world. Some weeks we get three or four contacts from artists. We do listen to every CD that comes our way (send more please!) There are an amazing number of talented people out there, and there is no way we can accommodate them all.
3. We get plenty of referrals from other artists, promoters and other house concert hosts around the country. If there is an artist you would like to see perform at our series, or know an artist that you think would enjoy the opportunity, feel free to let us know.
4. Part of our schedule this year came from artists we have met through Tribes Hill, Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival, Caramoor American Roots Music Festival and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, as well as other venues and festivals.
5. Lastly, we do sometimes contact musicians who we would like to perform at our series. There is something special about hosting a show for one of our long-time favorite artists.
Between these five categories, we have plenty of musicians and bands on our current list of people that we'd like to host a house concert for in the near future. Since we only host a handful of shows per year, we're pretty backlogged.
Q. What styles of music do you host?
A. Each house concert series is a little different from all the others. Most seem to focus on a particular genre of music. Many of the house concerts we are aware of focus on folk music to one degree or another. Some are more singer-songwriter oriented, or as Ellis Paul would say, "WG^2-- white guy with guitar". Our plan is to host folk, pop, rock, jazz and such, to provide a variety of musical styles. (Although we are not planning to host any classical music, there are house concerts that focus on that genre as well.) We lean primarily towards the singer-songwriters and folk-rock styles. The common thread in the artists we invite is that we really enjoy both the music and the performer.
Q. When are your upcoming shows and who are the performers?
A. You can always keep up with our latest schedule on here or on our Facebook page.
By far, the best way to keep "in the know" is to sign up for the mailing list. No spam, no selling your address, nothing but announcements about our concerts, and occasionally we include info on other concerts in the area.
Q. How much will this cost me?
A. We generally have a "voluntary suggested donation" of $20 per person in advance or $25 at the door. The reason we call it a "suggested donation" is that we are not a business. This is our home. We cannot really call it an "admission fee". Turning this into a business would create all sorts of extra work and expense on our part. We are simply having a party!
However, our "suggested donation" is still as close to being mandatory as we can make it. Without the money, we could not get the caliber of musicians who have graced our living room. We work on the honor system and need everyone's participation to keep our series going. We find that some people even put in a little extra. Remember, 100% of the donations goes directly to the performers.
Q. What do your neighbors think?
A. We encourage our neighbors to attend. As a courtesy to our neighbors, our shows end at a reasonable hour. We also try to limit ourselves to no more than one show per month. Our house concerts generally end by 7:30 PM.
Q. Do you have food?
A. Yes, we do. At each of our house concerts, we have a potluck style buffet. While it is not required for guests to contribute, it is encouraged. The more we have the more fun it is! We contribute a limited amount of coffee, tea, soda and water, so there is always something to enjoy. How big the buffet is depends upon how many people contribute that evening.
Please try to remember to take your bowls, platters and utensils with you. If you think you have left one here, please let us know and we will see about getting it back to you. Our best advice is to put a mailing address sticker on the bottom.
Q. How many people are on your mailing list?
A. There are currently over 2000 people on our email list. We plan to send out two emails each month that we have a show scheduled. The first will be an "invitation" to our next show, the other will be a "newsletter" - our next upcoming show, and about other local house concerts or whatever.
Q. How can I get off your mailing list?
A. If you no longer wish to be on our mailing list. Please let us know. We won't be offended. We do NOT want to annoy you any more than is necessary! You can unsubscribe at any time, just by dropping us a line. We will also post events on our Facebook and Google+ pages and send invitations and reminders about the upcoming shows.Also, please make sure that your email program or spam filter allows the email to get to you! Also, if you change your email address, please let us know.
Q. Where are you located?
A. We are in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY - just 12 miles north of NYC and just 6 miles south of the Tappan Zee Bridge. When you make your reservation for a House Concert, we will send you specific directions.
Q. How can I attend?
A. Our shows tend to fill up pretty quickly, so to insure a seat, we suggest that you pay in advance (through our link to PayPal), which will guarantee your reservation.
However, if you'd prefer to be added to our waiting list and to pay at the door (and risk being turned away if the show is sold out), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us that would like to be added to our waiting list. Please be sure to specify which show and how many people will be joining you. If you have never been here before, you will need directions, so be sure to tell us where you are coming from!
We will send you a confirmation email telling you that we have added you to the waiting list. You should get that return email within 24 hours. If you have not received it, that means we did not get your email, so please try again. Only people who get a confirmation email from us will be on the waiting list. Then, generally a few days before the show, we send out a reminder, which also includes details, directions, and emergency contact info.
Q. What if I make a reservation and then cannot attend?
A. You never get invited to another show, EVER! (Just kidding!) PLEASE be sure to let us know. We anticipate that many of our house concerts will fill up weeks in advance, so there is a good chance that we will have a Waiting List for that show. If you made a reservation, but will not be able to attend, please be sure to let us know as soon as possible so that we can try to fill your seat with someone from the Waiting List. This is a courtesy to both the people on the Waiting List and to the performer - who would love to perform before a full house and depend on your donations to support their music.
Q. Why do you need a Reservations and Waiting Lists?
A. These are private parties in our living room and we have a limited amount of space. We use the Reservations List to be sure that we can fit everyone in. Being on the Waiting List does NOT guarantee a seat. We only have about 40 seats. If you want a seat, be sure to make your reservation (through PayPal) or get here early. Doors open one hour before our shows.
Q. What kind of environment is the evening?
A. Casual. We go for the warm and cozy feel. Dress is "Cozy Casual". Our home is a smoke free environment. We ask everyone to honor this and please keep all cigars, pipes and cigarettes outside. We do not generally provide any alcohol, but anything that is leftover from previous shows goes right back out for the next one. However, if people wish to bring wine or beer, we are fine with that so long as people use their own discretion; anyone who appears intoxicated in our home will be asked to leave and not to return.
Any other questions? Drop us a line!
A HUGE thanks to "This Old Houseconcert" as much of these FAQs came from them (no sense reinventing the wheel!) If you are in the Chicagoland area, check them out!
Common Ground Concerts
12 Miles North
Walkabout Clearwater Chorus
Acoustic Music Scene