hear at the HOMe
What is a house concert, anyway?
A house concert is exactly what the name implies: it's a concert in somebody's house, usually -- as in our case -- in the living room. House concerts are not-for-profit ventures that are put on by music lovers for music lovers. They are an excellent opportunity to get to see acoustic music in an intimate, informal setting.
What happens at your house concerts?
People are welcome to arrive starting half an hour before the start time of the performance. (Please don't be late!) We have munchies available, as well as coffee, tea, sodas etc. You're welcome to bring something to share (we're especially partial to double-fudge brownies ;) -- just let us know if you plan to bring something and what it'll be. Performances generally run about an hour and a half (usually two sets with a snack break in between), then there's a chance to mingle with the artist and your fellow attendees, get stuffed on snacks and buy CDs. It's a laid-back, fun time.
Do you sell tickets in advance?
We do not "sell tickets". We will ask for a donation before you leave to give to the artist(s), usually $10. However, advance reservations are required, as space is extremely limited.
Where does the donation money go?
100% of the money we collect goes to the artist. If you want to pitch in something additional to defray the cost of the munchies we provide, you're welcome to, though we won't ask for that. This is a completely not-for-profit labor of love.
Where do I get your exact address and directions?
We are located in the East Rock section of New Haven. Our complete address and directions will be provided once your reservation is confirmed.
Are you reachable by public transportation?
Yes! The CT Transit "J" bus stops just south of our house. There is also a Yale Shuttle stop literally in front of our house.
For those coming from out of town, New Haven is served by Metro-North Railroad (schedule) out of Grand Central Station in New York City, as well as Amtrak from anywhere in the Northeast Corridor. If you do plan to come in by train, just let us know what time you will be arriving and we will gladly come pick you up. New Haven's train station is only 10 minutes from here.
Are there any house rules?
Nothing too militant. :) Absolutely no smoking is allowed. If the weather's icky, we'll ask you to leave your shoes on the landing. Please be attentive and respectful during the performance. Our cats are trained to devour anyone whose cell phone or pager goes off while the artist is "on stage".
What if I made a reservation, but can't make it to the show?
If for any reason you cannot attend, please let us know. There's nothing more frustrating than expecting 25 people and then having only 12 show up. Sometimes we have more interest than we do spots on our reservation list, so if we know in advance that you're not coming, we can give someone else a chance to attend.
Do you have any pets?
We do have two cats (though chances are you'll only see one of them). We make the best possible effort to vacuum thoroughly on the day of the performance (including the furniture), and we don't have carpets. Folks with minor to moderate feline allergies have generally done okay for the relatively short period of time they're here, with whatever medications they've had at their disposal.
I'm a performing musician. Can I do a show at your house?
Since this is, as noted above, a labor of love put on at our own expense, and since there is an ever-dwindling number of weekends in the year we are even available to host a concert, we set up our concerts by personally inviting our personal favorite artists to come perform. Sorry, but if we don't know you, don't bother contacting us. (There is a listing of area music venues you can try here.)
How did you get started doing this?
When woj and I moved here in 1997, we made note of the size of our living room and half-jokingly said it would be a great place to put on a concert. We knew people who had hosted living room concerts in the past, and thought it was a really intriguing idea. The following year, an opportunity presented itself that we just couldn't pass up: our supreme musical goddess, Veda Hille was touring in the area and had an open date on a Friday night. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Why did you change your series' name?
We used to be called "Live At The House O'____", with the ____ being the name of a concern that provides valuable elevator music services to the huddled masses. This was a purely ironic thing, but of course the good folks over in the legal department of the aforementioned concern didn't see it that way. When we got a cease-and-desist trademark infringement complaint via email we decided to ignore it, but it was harder to ignore the hard copy letter that followed several months later with all sorts of specific monetary damages listed in it. Since we weren't attached to the name anyway (several people had commented that it did, after all, have a less than good connotation), we decided to comply. The letter we got is rather hilarious, though. Someday we'll get around to scanning it and posting it here for all to enjoy.
Can I host living room concerts too?
Sure -- if you've got a big enough room and the desire to bring people into your home to share in some live music. Lots of performing musicians nowadays are open to doing house concerts, and it has become somewhat of a staple of the touring life of the contemporary singer/songwriter circuit. Most musicians love the opportunity to perform for a small, intelligent, attentive audience. For more information on how to get involved, take advantage of the resources available at houseconcerts.org.
Still got questions? Want to make a reservation? E-mail