What's a house concert?
Dale’s take on What is a House Concert – For the Host
Ever gone to see a great musician or group that you really like, but can’t hear the music over all the talking, drinking, Twittering, texting and selfie-taking? Wish you could hear those great artists in a quiet place with people you actually know and maybe even like? Of course you have. That’s why we asked! Stay with us – we’re going somewhere with this line of questioning.
House concerts are just that – a concert at your place. Even a back yard or quiet park will do, or an art gallery, or even a 2-car garage. We can sing in a 1-car garage, but the acoustics and seating are much better in the 2-car. Although the crowd does look bigger in the more intimate 1-car.
House concerts give the audience a chance to experience the music. And, house concerts provide the performer with a chance to play for people who want to experience the music. Musicians LOVE to play for people who are actually listening. Musicians do not love playing for people who aren’t listening. Unless the money is really, really, good. Note: The Down-to-the-Wire Choir will play a freeway underpass if the money is really, really good.
Nationwide, house concerts have become the bread and butter for lots of great musicians. Many nationally known acts have stopped overnight for a house concert in Boise on their way to a bar gig in Portland, after playing a gig in Salt Lake City. The house concert pays for the gas, and quite often the performer spends the night in a comfy bed in a spare bedroom instead of a motel. Don’t worry: The Down-to-the Wire Choir will not crash at your house. There’s too many of us, and besides, Jake snores like a freight train. Can hear him all over the house.
The catch is that the house concert is a better show than the public gigs. Because you, the host, get to decide who comes through the front door. And who gets asked to leave!
Here's how it works for booking the Down-to-the-Wire Choir:
You drop us a line on our website or give us a call.
We schedule a concert at your house or venue of your choosing.
You invite your friends, family, neighbors, anyone you know who will appreciate great music and not drink too much and talk about politics, work, or the stock market at the top of their lungs like they do at other gigs.
You set up a donation box by the front door with a suggested amount of $10 per person. This box should be monitored by someone you trust, not some banker. Kids get in for free, as long as they don’t drink too much and talk about politics, work, or the stock market.
Price of Admission: Most folks will toss the ol’ ten-spot in the box (look for Hamilton) some will fold a $5 bill up (Lincoln) so that it looks like there are two fives (= Hamilton). That’s ok. Some folks might toss in the ol’ hundred-spot (Franklin) if they think somebody’s looking, and we are really, really good with that. After hearing us, some of those who tossed in the five-looks-like-ten foldup faker will come back and toss in another $5, (Lincoln again) because, well, we’re just that good and they’ll feel bad about being so cheap. Some who tossed in the $100 (Franklin) might come back wanting some of that money back, say, $50 (Grant) because, hey, the music was good, but I mean, what were they thinking? (Nixon).
What you get from us:
We bring some of the finest Americana music you’ll hear for a thousand miles in any direction. To the north, that would be the 57th parallel near the Birch Mountains in Alberta, Canada. To the west, the Pacific Ocean 600 miles off Coos Bay, Oregon. To the south, Baja. To the east, uh oh, Minnesota. Minnesota? They got some good singers. But Lake Wobegon, sadly, was drained and filled in to make way for an apartment complex.
FAQ (pronounced “FAK”)
What about food?
Excellent question. Usually it’s pot luck, or you can show off your cooking skills for the crowd. Or, show off your pizza-ordering skills. Lots of folks will bring a really great potluck dish, but you’ll always have that one jackass who shows up with a bag of chips and a jar of cheap salsa and then tucks into your spinach and three-cheese manicotti and garlic-stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Same guy who brings Bud Light and then helps himself to your Stone IPA while you’re in the bathroom. You know who I’m talking about. THAT guy. He’s a bachelor, and for darn good reason. Don’t invite him!
Speaking of IPA, what about drinks?
Another excellent question! Red wines should have hints of oak, cherry, Mennen and Old Spice. They should be soft as “Mandy” on the pallet, and yet, finish bold as “I Write The Songs.” Got those tunes stuck in your head now? Of course you do! You came and you gave without taking. But we sent you away…
Seriously though, if you want your gathering alcohol free, good on ya. We’ll all feel better the next day. If you do allow alcohol, the great thing is that your guests can bring a bottle of good wine or a six-pack of microbrew for about the same price as two crappy pints of Bud or Coors.
How many people should I invite?
How big’s your house? How many toilets ya got? How hard ya wanna work the day after?
Should I rent a Porta-Potty?
Not if you have a nice big yard with lots of tall shrubs for the guys. We like to go outside.
You mentioned playing a 2-car garage. What if I have a THREE-car garage with an RV bay?
Really? You got a 3-car garage AND an RV bay? You don’t play the banjo, now do ya!
If you had your choice of playing a 2-car garage or an art gallery, which would you chose?
It depends on the art gallery. If they have real art, like crushed-velvet Elvis or Dogs Playing Poker, we’re good with the gallery. Otherwise, well, 2-car. Especially if there’s an RV bay.
Is it always called a House Concert even if you’re not playing in a house?
Yes. We’re not sure why that is; likely for simplicity. Same reason we still use the term “dial” for phones. It’s just too hard to change.