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Old 11-15-2018, 10:28 AM
Daniel Grenier Daniel Grenier is offline
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Location: White Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Default Listening Rooms are popping up around me.

Over the past 4 or 5 years, several proper "Listening Rooms" have started operating and offering really good live performances in intimate settings. Most are folk or indie-folk in approach with a focus on acoustic (or "mildly" plugged-in). Small acts, duos, singer-songwriters etc. All pros. Most venues are in very small towns or in the country. Some offer food & drink too.

I just love these places. One is an 1800s country school, 2 or 3 in 100+ year-old churches, others in the more traditional "cafe" style. All are doing well and have a good base of people who, like me, can no longer stand huge venues with loud and aggressive music.

We also have the yearly "Festival of Small Halls" where dozens of small-town halls offer up concerts with the same kind of music. Awesome concept.

All this to say that we are very well served with very talented performers in intimate and historical venues. It's good for the ears and the soul. For that, I am grateful.

Same where you are?
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:59 PM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is online now
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Location: Sioux City, Iowa
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We have one in my city of 80,000 people. It's called a music club though it's open to the public. A friend of mine own and runs it. It's nonprofit. The name artists they get are amazing. Plus the up and coming artists also. A nice sounding room and a very intimate setting. Where my city is placed on the map is in between larger cities. Like half a day to a days drive from the larger cities. So what this does in this situation is make it possible to make bargain basement deals. They are often passing by on an off day for the big cities so it's a night that eats up their living expenses. Sitting around in a hotel room doing nothing costs money. So if they can play a show and keep their money in their pockets it's a good deal for them. Dinner and a hotel room for a band and you'd be surprised who you can get.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:39 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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We have had a long tradition of "Folk Clubs" in the UK, usually held in the function room of pubs, or small church or village halls, and sometimes in "Scouts" or Guide" huts.

Amplification is vary rarely used, and there was/is a principle called "ARTS" i.e "A Right To Silence".

They tend to fall into two categories - either a circle with each taking a turn, or not, or a performing stage, or corner, or area, where each performer goes to perform to a seated audience.

The problem (for me at least) is that there are also two types of ethos, some readily accept American folk, country and blues etc., but others being very "traditional" and in extremis, accepting only traditional British folk songs, often un-accompanied.

When I started out as a solo performer in '93 after a long hiatus, I was singing/playing American contemporary material, and I was frequently told however well I went down with the audiences, they wouldn't book me as I "wasn't real folk".

Later, I was asked to open up my own folk club in a local pub, sponsored by a local music shop. I agreed on condition that it was called an "Acoustic Music Club" and that it how it has been run to this day ... welcoming beginners and professionals, playing any sort of genre, but not plugging in.

A fair few clubs have followed my lead.
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:19 PM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
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Default That's nice to hear...

All I know about the Canadian listening room phenomenon comes from one lucky night two years ago in Duncan, B.C., when I happened to catch a performance by "The Great Divide, Canada's Authentic Tribute to The Band." It was at the Duncan Showroom, a non-alcoholic venue with a stage and small stands inside a combined antiques/ice cream shop/lounge. Immediately, I felt at home.

This Band Band really scored this night. All five were too young to have witnessed their inspirations in person, but I wasn't. And I can attest that they sounded like and even looked like Levon, Robbie and the boys in their primes. Their organ player even approached Garth's mastery, which was lacking from the other Band tribute band I've seen. Oh, did I mentioned that it was 40 years to the day after The Last Waltz?
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:55 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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There's one operating in a town near me (Lowell, MA) that is very intimate - 25 people is overflowing, but caters to the 'non-pro' performers with open mics and jams, and various performance nights.

Locally there is a huge 'coffee house' listening room circuit, with most places being churches that can seat 100-200 listeners.

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