21 Jun The Wicked Awesomeness and Sheer Beauty of the House Concert by Bryan Russo
You’ve undoubtedly been to shows where you are packed shoulder to shoulder with sweaty strangers and have been forced to pay obscene amounts of money (in addition to your ticket) for some sort of refreshment. You’ve also had that refreshment spilled on you and thus had to enjoy the rest of the show wearing your libation instead of simply enjoying it. You have also undoubtedly heard artists say things like “we just want to play smaller rooms and be closer to our fans, rather than play stadiums”, and like me, you’ve probably said something to the effect of “that’s bollocks.” Yet, there is something quite cool about seeing a band do what they do in an intimate setting, and as an artist, there is something quite cool about playing to a small group of people who are truly listening to you play, rather than basically trying to blow your voice out in crowded bars over people that don’t seem to care that there is a real-live boy (that’s a Pinocchio reference) playing music in the corner or on the stage. This is where house concerts come in, as you can’t get much more intimate than hearing and artist play in the comfort of a friend’s home.
Last month, Todd and Natalee DeHart, the entrepreneurial soon-to-be-social juggernauts and purveyors of GCFL became a part of the house party phenomenon and invited the incomparable Jenn Grinels from the left coast into their home for the area’s first jaunt into the hip world of house concerts. If you missed the show, you truly missed out, as it was filled with good folks, good food, plenty of wine, and I was even welcomed into to play a few songs with miss Jenn, which was a huge thrill in and of itself. The cool thing about house concerts is you take out the middle man….ie, the venue, who basically gets all the spoils….or profits rather. They have the space and the drinks, and they bring in the artists, often underpay them, and overcharge the listeners with drinks and the other whatnots and we all leave often unsatisfied.
So, with all this said, the DeHarts will be hosting yet another house concert on Saturday, July 31st in their Berlin home. For this show, I will be playing a double bill with Reno, NV based singer/songwriter and bass virtuoso Seth Horan. I met Seth probably a decade ago when I was a rock writer in Philly. I was at a venue where I was set to interview another artist, who was inevitably running late….or maybe I was, but that’s just folklore now. I heard this funky slapping and ridiculous sense of melody and followed the sound until I met this little white dude from Buffalo, NY (ie, Seth) and I ended up writing about him, and we’ve been friends since. He’s toured the globe and has been the epitomy of what being a bohemian traveling indie musician is in this day and age. You will literally marvel at the talent that this fella exudes, both lyrically and with his instrument. I promise you that you’ve never seen a bass played like this up close and personal until you see young Seth perform.
There will be a small ticketing fee to get in, and mind you, this is simply to cover the costs of Seth to board a plane and come here for the show. We artists don’t make tons of bank for doing these house concerts, but believe me, the little bit of money that you will be asked to part with to be apart of this show means the world to artists and your support is like water to us. And if you think about it, the ticket will be about half of what it would cost to get a round of drinks for you and your significant other at a local juke joint.
So, mark your calendars for July 31st, and plan on getting a spot at the Pirate Bar at the casa de Dehart, as it will be a show that folks will be talking about, and inevitably, one that the venues in town would wish that they would’ve booked themselves. And if you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a sweaty person at the show, at least they won’t be strangers.
Have a look see at some of Seth’s work on the Internet, he’s pretty much a Google search away.