Monday, November 22, 2010

Mary Mack Friday Dec 10th ... Yeah baby.

Ok we can officially pinch ourselves for getting the opportunity to host a comedian who is billed by some as "The second funniest person in the Twin Cities"... I say move over Garrison... Mary is funnier. Who is Mary? Well I've seen and heard her on the Big River Radio Wave show from Alma WI, but her website lists some of the following:

Folk humorist Mary Mack spends half her time convincing her Minnesotan mother it’s okay for her daughter to be a comedian and the other half touring the country in her sweet, 400 dollar Dodge Neon--affectionately referred to as “Street Heat.” Here’s a few accomplishments: Sing-alongs of the Bob & Tom Show, XM’s National Lampoon's Comedy Network, and Minnesota's Polka Spotlight. 2005 California's Funniest Female Contest, HBO's Andy Kaufman Awards (2007), Big River Wave regular (Alma WI) and NBC's Last Comic Standing. Mack’s endearing stage presence and off-kilter, musical surprises, stemming from her background as former music teacher and polka bandleader make her popular with a wide array of people, including the deep fry cook at the Minnesota State Fair Mini Donut Booth who purchased a total of twelve Mary Mack CD's.

NOT enough to convince you? Go check out or

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I am one lucky dog...

When you are a house concert host you can count some of the most talented and beautiful women or handsome men as friends. Tonight two past performers came to me with new videos:

First up the vocalist for The Outside Track, Norah Rendell she played her with her now husband Brian Miller in March 2009:

And an angel I know... Allison Sattinger, and she played here May 2009 with Matt Coleman... all the women wanted to bring Matt home with them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

David Stoddard & David Glaser Oct 22nd

David Stoddard... I songwriter that gets its.. he could preach, he could poke fun, he could be sad, he could be poignant, and when you're done you'll be wiping you eyes from laughter, and sighing with pleasure.

Now I never met David Glaser... and watch out for those bra straps on the accordion...

David Glaser has toured with Dan Navarro since Eric Lowen has been fallen with his disabling disease. and I'm a decent fan of Lowen and Navarro.

Introducing Barb Ryman & Mary Mack

Last night Lori & I went to a wonderful event put on by Ashley for the Arts, the Big River Wave radio show was taped with another outstanding performance by all. I of course think Mary Mack is all that she is billed as "the second funniest person in the Twin Cities"... I guess Garrison moved back. After the show, I did give Mary our house concert card and she is thinking about it. Until then, stop over to her website or just watch this video. Of course giving her a card was inspired by an idea from Joan Benson, and approved by my wife.

Mary highly recommended Barb Ryman too, so I thought I would pass it along.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seth was great!

A full house... and it was a little warm with 40 people in the room.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Seth Horan... Friday July 16th poster

Print it off and pass it around.. in a mere 4 days we have 10 yes's and 5 pretty sure attending... this one might be the first overflowing to upstairs and downstairs.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Seth Horan... Friday July 16th

What a treat... promise to be the youngest attendance since a friend of my son, Sam Duga told me that Seth has a big college following... the house will be rocking.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We're on FACEBOOK come and be our friend... and tell everyone to come to EVERY Concert... make artist recommendations... and just network. I'm not going to be a bother... I promise to use this site only for Music announcements. I might do a listening note once a week as a promotion to other artists.

I have a different account to post when I wake up in the morning and what I'm cooking that night... HA.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tori Sparks concert Cancelled

Hey... I guess when you start having a bunch of concerts something like this comes up. I kind of talked to Tori today.. my goodness her voice is shot. It is a week a way, but I could not force her to risk ruining her carreer over a little house concert. She can't even fill up a hand for the concerts she's cancelled... usually it's been weather or flood related. I know she's a great kid from conversations I had with Allison and Heather, so she'll be back thru someday...

until then, look her music up and enjoy.. maybe tell a friend or too the type of music I book in my eclectic tastes...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Seth Horan... well just maybe

Well last night I was introduced to this great voice and talented bass player.... Seth Horan, by a friend of my son... yes a 20 year old can talk to me anytime about good music, and this is good music... so much so that I've reached out to a solo bass player to play at our house concert... crazy... you'll agree not after you watch these videos. (God is YouTube only five years old... I don't think I could ever do this house concert stuff without seeing artists like this live befor I book them.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Second Supper Article

Briana did an outstanding job capturing the feel of the concert series.... Read on...

Holmen concert series brings music out of bars, into garage
People who call the Coulee Region home are no strangers to live music. In fact, throw a dart at a map of local bars on any given day of the week, and it's a near-guarantee that you'll find something aurally pleasing: a groovy blues show at Nighthawk's, a foot-stompin' jam session at The Popcorn, or a smooth jazz set at Bodega. Since January 2009, a new venue has been added to this proverbial map; a charming house snuggled up against the bluffs in northern Holmen, where Dave Schipper and his wife, Lori, invite nationally touring musicians to play a handful of house concerts a year, right in their living room.

Pull into the driveway, and you're likely to find Dave kicked back on his porch, strumming on an acoustic guitar and occasionally taking a sip out of a glass of wine. A longtime music-lover (the guy has over 3,000 albums on vinyl) and musician himself, Dave stumbled into the house concert scene almost unintentionally through social networking sites.

"I got on MySpace mainly to connect with other musicians because my hope and desire was to someday be covered as a songwriter," he explains. Meanwhile, a folk-singing friend of the Schippers was trying to raise money for a church trip to South America. When asked if they would be up for hosting a concert at their house as a fundraiser, the couple was enthusiastic to help. ....The article is no longer online (sad).. I'll look to see if I still have a hard copy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ray LaMontagne

No I don't think we're booking him soon, but I'm not shy if I had the opportunity to ask him, I would. Tonight I had a wonderful time talking to a beautiful soul about the concert series. While I was playing her a potential friend, Hope Waits, who might play here in the future, she alertly said, "That's a Ray LaMontagne song"... God that's what I love about music. It trascends age, sex, or cultural stereotypes. Haven't you sometimes wondered why a child loves folk music or rebels against the Eagles... it's deep seated inside our emotions and brains. So when we can connect as a culture to lyrics and chords thru a cover or just thru the pure emotion, isn't that what life is about. Put your little life in the hands of a house concert, and you may never be the same.

Cone and see...

I went to find Ray based on that little comment and WOW... I'm sure our Rose River cover band will pick up one of his songs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pictures from Clay's concert

Melissa Kay McCarthy is a wonderful photographer in the local LaCrosse area. Not a bad singer too. I am blessed to have her becoming more of a real friend and not one of those Facebook things... HA. plus her attendance at the house concerts really ratchet up the quality of pictures. She was here for Clay's Saturday night show.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interview with Tori Sparks

As we're closing in on a month away to Tori's visit to the Bluff View, I tried a new approach to introduce you to this energetic lady... An interview... and she was polite enough to answer even my silliest question...

1) You are seemingly the new phase of independent musicians & independent
labels, what has been the highs and lows to doing that?

The most positive aspect is control - not in a control-freaky way, but in
a common-sense way. I'm able to decide the way in which I'd like to be
presented to the public, what songs to record and when, what musicians to
play with, and there's no one to say "sorry, we decided not to release
your record for another year or so... we'll call you." Also, being forced
to do everything myself has taught me a lot about the ways in which the
industry operates. The downside is that you have to hired independent
promoters and try to forge your own way, rather than being able to be
plugged into a network that exists within a label or management company.
Really, there are days when the indie thing feels like an infinitely
better choice, and other days when having a big team would be nice. I'm
open to the idea of working with a label and/or manager if the right
person or company comes along, but in the meantime, I'll keep doing what
I'm doing.

2) So you do how many concerts a year? Has CIYH (Concerts in Your Home)
been a help?

I play around 200 shows every year, though last year, I only did 150
because I was in the studio working on the new album, The Scorpion in the
Story. CIYH has been helpful, because in many ways the house concert is
filling the void of the small music venue or listening room - which is
nearing extinction due to the nature of this crazy industry as well as the
economy in general - and the CIYH website is essentially a consolidated
database containing the bulk of the house concert presenters in the
country. It spares me a lot of extra research, and I love house concerts -
they're a unique format that allows a much more one-on-one connection with
your audience.

3) How did you get such a European presence?

I've toured in England, Ireland, and France, and was lucky to have had a
song from my second album ("Cold War," from Under This Yellow Sun)
released on a compilation distributed by Universal Music France, which
sold about 40,000 copies in Europe. That has been helpful, and then this
Spring we did our first European radio campaign. The album is at #19 on
the Euro Americana Charts, and I'm planning to go back overseas in the
fall. European audiences and the music business in Europe are in some ways
different than the States, in a way that's been good to me. I appreciate
it very mcuh.

3.5) When and where will you tour over there?

I hope I'll be there in September and October, and am planning on playing
the countries I've hit up before as well as the Netherlands, Belgium,
Germany, and possibly Spain and Italy. I'm still working on those dates. I
wish I could bring the band, we'll have to see whether the budget works
out or if I'll be touring solo.

4) LaCrosse WI doesn't have an Americana radio station, do you have a
favorite internet radio station that plays your music?

A lot of Americana music can also be played on college and AAA (Adult
Album Alternative) stations, so please feel free to call in and request!
That being said, Radio Crystal Blue and Women of Substance Radio and two
internet stations that have been very supportive.

5) Wonderful videos, were they as much fun to make as to watch? Even naked
in one, was that a trip?

Thanks - videos are great because they give your audience a new take on
the songs they've already heard live, or on the albums. And no, I wasn't
naked! For the record, my mother loved that video, whereas my
boyfriend-at-the-time's mother hated it. So, that's your barometer
regarding it's scandalousness or lack thereof. That particular video is
for the song "Cold War," and we've done videos for "Rivers + Roads" and
recently "Merry Go-Round" from the new album, as well as some behind the
scenes and live concert videos. They were all a huge amount of work, but
yes, so much fun. The last several videos as well as the concert DVD I've
edited myself, thanks to the tutelage of my director, who let me use his
Final Cut software. I loved it, and we'd spend 14 hours at a stretch
working on them and living off of Diet Dr. Pepper and Ritz crackers. The
Nashville Rollergirls and the City of Shelby NC (who lent us their
carousel) were incredibly kind to work with us on "Merry Go-Round."

6) I believe if I remember a different news article, you graduated with
honors from Florida State in no time, so is this just an extension of a
Marketing class?

Yes, actually! I always joke that I essentially went to grad school for
music business in Nashville, because living the experience of being an
independent artist - especially in this town - has been and continues to
be a serious education on all levels. I've learned a lot musically, but
really, the music industry is more about connections, marketing, and
timing than anything else.

7) Born in IL, grew up in FL, live in TN... Happy with any of the above?
Where would you like to live?

I like Nashville very much, it's a great place to live for a hundred
reasons. I have to confess that I've been considering moving for a while
now, and looking at a few options including Austin, New York, and Paris.
If I could live anywhere, it would be New York - or in the desert, outside
of Santa Fe, but that will be years down the line when I eventually
devolve into a crazy cat lady.

8) Is this your first Wisconsin trip?

My second. I played at all three Gateway Technical College campuses last
year. This is my first non-college-affiliated show in Wisconsin, though.
Can't wait!

9) What do you have coming up in the future?

I'll be touring throughout the US and in Europe for the rest of 2010 and
2011, for now promoting the newest album, The Scorpion in the Story. We've
been lucky in that the College and Americana stations in the U.S. and
overseas have really picked up on it. Also, I've been in the studio
working on the next record, which will be released probably early to
mid-2011. Shawn Mullins, a great singer/songwriter as well as a great guy,
contributed guest vocals on one of the songs. That song, called "Letter to
a Wretch #2," is on the Sin City Sampler Vol. 13 which came out in March.
Just lots to do in the coming year or two! Tour dates and all the
aforementioned videos are on, as well as a bunch of crazy
photos from the road.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book it Dano.... Clay Riness

More to follow... hot off the presses Clay Riness is a great musician and entertainer, and we're going to host a cool concept concert of Clay sharing covers that he was most influenced by btw......Congrats to the Saints!

I said there would be more details... here is the blog that Clay posted explaining how this concert booking happened:

So, I just booked this gig. The whole thing happened so fast … proving to me that it was meant to be. No time to over think.

A few weekends ago, as I have mentioned, I spent some time with a few old friends playing and singing some of the most wonderful old songs. Songs which brought memories gushing through the floodgates; songs that were there for me when I was coming up as a young musician; songs that shaped me as a songwriter … that’s what they were and that’s what was so lovely. Talk about a musical version of comfort food.

I returned from the weekend energized and couldn’t seem to put a guitar down. I located and dusted off my old loose leaf gigging notebook and some folders of handwritten fake sheets, some of them over thirty years old, and poured over them, uncovering treasures not thought of since I quit playing out all those years ago. And, I had a reunion with a whole bunch of old friends. So many of those songs were simply brilliant.

I mentioned on the blog how the whole thing made me feel. Then, I got a little email from my friend Dave who organizes and hosts Bluff View Concerts, a little concert series up the road an hour or so.

“I guess we’ll have to talk about a house concert sometime,” he wrote.

A house concert? I haven’t done a house concert in … uh … decades. Probably 1987. What a wonderful thought! I emailed Dave back and told him that I had an idea for a show. I explained that in November of 2010 I had a concert booked at the Regional Arts Center (in conjunction with a one man art show of my father’s oil paintings). That concert would certainly be my normal show of original music, and I made it clear I had some contractual and moral obligations not to jeopardize the potential attendance of that event by being redundant.

You can see what’s coming here, no doubt. Yup. I proposed a show called “The Covered Up Concert” at which I would feature only covers of some of my all time favorite songs. He thought it was a fantastic idea. Further, I think the show will help to promote my November concert nicely, too.

Upon discovering that Dave’s house could seat about thirty-five people, I suggested that if he and his wife Lori were game, I would certainly offer a second show. After some discussion of marketing the event, we agreed to forge ahead with it and scheduled shows for Saturday, April 10th and Sunday, April 11th. I guess this note begins the marketing strategy. Surely we can convince seventy people to come and enjoy some of the best songs ever written, hmm? Well, OK, that’s my opinion there, regarding the songs.

I’m completely jazzed about how much fun this will be. Here’s a link to the flier / poster announcing the event (PDF format). If you’re local enough, please do print it and hang it up somewhere. Make reservations. Join us. It’s going to be a wonderful good time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Pines on Wis Public TV

Last week during the house concert the guys told me about taping this... wow... great job. I've got to get this out to people who attended, and those who missed it. Clicking on the picture won't help, here's the link

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tori Sparks... Saturday May 29th

Now I met Tori through Concerts In Your Home and quickly warmed to the woman I heard in a few mp3's and the outstanding broad range of YouTubes. It feels like I know her so well. Of course when Allison Sattinger told me that I'll love Tori... the deal was set. Now I'm finding out that she's also graduated from Florida State in 3 years Magna Cum Laude.

But don't just take my word for it...

Hometown TV Station report on her:

Cold War from her 2007 CD Release

Merry Go Round from her 2009 CD Release

now if she doesn't come off as like Barbara Striestand with a guitar in this one...

then a little taste of what we might have in store with her acoustic set, a little bluesy piece called Trouble..

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yes it was a great night

Lots of laughs, house seemed full with 24 in attendance.... and David and Benson were incredible. Yes you can tell by the quality of the pictures that Melissa couldn't make it; and you had my poor effort.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

YES...The Pines Saturday Jan 30th

Right now... the plan is 7:30 and clear skies for a beautiful date night in January, so why not head over to a house concert known for intimate concerts where the artist gets to know the audience. Yes the hosts, Dave and Lori will have some fresh cookies, decaf coffee, and maybe some hot apple cider. Feel free to bring your own beverage, no corking charges here, HA!

Now the artist... The Pines... let's start with their website bio:

In a world swimming in singer/songwriters, it's difficult to rise above the masses and create a truly unique sound that captures ears and stimulates the mind. The Pines are a band that has taken on this feat, honing their musical craft to near perfection with a sound that wavers on the edge of traditional acoustic/roots music, but embraces the nuances of today's indie-rock and blues music.

Meeting in a Mexican barrio in Arizona, fellow Iowans David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey began playing music together, forming The Pines. Committing to a musical career, they returned to their Midwestern roots and settled in Minneapolis, a music haven that has launched the careers of such folk and rock legends as Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks and The Replacements.

In 2004 The Pines released their debut self-titled album on the Iowa-based Trailer Records, establishing themselves as an emerging force in the roots music world with their haunting blend of indie-rock, folk, and blues with intelligent lyrics. In 2007 The Pines released Sparrows in the Bell on the world renowned acoustic/roots label Red House Records. The album had critics buzzing and was named one of the top roots releases of 2007 by Q Magazine. With the release of Tremolo, , their second release on Red House, The Pines continue to show their growth as artists as well as an unparalleled wisdom in their songwriting and musicianship.

The son of Greg Brown's producer and sideman Bo Ramsey, Benson was surrounded by folk and blues music and continues to let those influences shine, even on louder electric songs. David also has a deep love for traditional music, and together the two of them craft music that evokes the ancient while incorporating newer rock and pop grooves. Both strong writers and musicians, David and Benson have distinct voices that complement each other, causing audiences and critics alike to tout them as a powerful young force in American roots music. Steadily touring around the country, The Pines have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music including Bon Iver, The Holmes Brothers, Jolie Holland, The Arcade Fire, and Spider John Koerner.

Now to that I would add that after Lori and I saw them at the Simply Folk 30th Anniversary show up at the BigTop, we both said wouldn't you want to see them at the house concert... YEE HAW... they're coming.

More to come, and here's hoping you come; and here's a link to the map:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CIYH Newsletter...

What a heck of nice guy... and We have a scheduled May Concert so we can say we're right in sync. Tory Sparks May 30th.

Here's their website :

Here's a link to the Folk Alliance that he talked about :