We went to a house concert party last night. How did we not know about this for all these years?
Here's how it works: you book the act/band, invite some friends over who kick in some cash by donating what they think is appropriate (which you suggest), and then wham, you have a concert in your living room, backyard, garage, wherever you want. You're now a homegrown music promoter. Just Google "home grown concerts" to find a slew of options, and off you go.
Ann and Dave Trinkle opened up their incredible Tuscan-styled house last night to showcase Amy Speace, a songer/songwriter who plays downtown haunts like the Bitter End in the City. She showed up with her Gibson acoustic guitar, a bearded fellow sporting a Fender telecaster, a pair of speakers, and two spotlights for the "stage" which normally serves as the slate landing which leads into the kitchen.
Amy writes some wickedly good tunes. She had an album that came out a year or so back entitled "Songs for Bright Street" on Judy Collins' label which you can find on iTunes, Amazon, and wherever else all music downloads are sold. Definitely listen to "Double Wide Trailer" where she sings about falling in love with a good 'ol boy from Carolina for whom she cashes in her trust fund for a six pack of Bud.
Also check out "The Real Thing" about a woman who is who she is, like it or not. Sound familiar? Well, Amy ain't that kinda woman. She was supposed to play at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, but her schedule got changed around and so she recorded a music video protest song against the war instead which features her and a slew of real Army and Air Force soldiers in uniform. The video is set to air next month on CMT (which, for all those country neophytes, stands for Country Music Television).
Here's Amy doin' "The Real Thing":