Pensacola, Florida
Monday July 22nd 2019

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Summertime House Shows

By Shelby Smithey

North Hill resident Lindsay Myers is opening up her home to a trio of artists this summer for three one-of-a-kind, intimate acoustic performances.

Myers said that she attended her first house concert in 2007 in Chicago and hosted her first in 2009 in Philadelphia.

“If you’re a music lover there is nothing more exciting than being able to watch a performer closely and be part of an experience you are creating together,” she said. “I hosted the Sarah Mac Band at my house about three years ago, and that experience galvanized me to start hosting again.”

Myers said that as house shows have become more popular and social media so connective, musicians will often lay out their major tour plans and, if they want to play house shows, will seek out hosts. Myers saw a post and then invited the artists to Pensacola.

“Every show I host I get more excited about because they keep getting better,” Myers said. “I have hosted some incredible artists, but the ones I’m hosting this summer are really exceptional.”

On June 8, Canadian singer-songwriter Joe Zambon will be performing.

“I have admired Joe’s work for nearly ten years, but he very rarely is in the southeast so to see him at all down here is a rare treat,” Myers said. “Joe just released a new album called ‘Love Is, ‘ and I’m really enjoying it. I think people who come to that show are going to be introduced to a new potential favorite.”

Derek Webb will be playing June 25.

“Derek was one of the beginning members of the powerhouse Christian group Caedmon’s Call,” Myers said. “Caedmon’s was the first edge of a kind of folk-rock sound that influenced many other artists. Derek has had a solo career dating back over a decade and, interestingly, one of his first solo releases was a live recorded album called ‘The House Show’ that was a mixture of songs and his thoughts behind them. I wore that CD out in college and have seen him play venues large and small in the intervening years, so hosting him at my house is a real honor.”

A local duo of singers, McDean, will be opening for Joe Zambon and The Arcadian Wild, a folk trio based in Nashville who will be performing Aug. 18.

“We don’t have any truly intimate coffeehouse style listening rooms here anymore, so the chances of seeing a show like this outside of someone’s house is unlikely,” Myers said. “You know the phrase, if you want something done right, do it yourself? The elements that make a truly exceptional concert experience—great, thoughtful music, attentive audience, intimate environment, a communal sense of appreciation and connection—it’s alchemy to bring those things together. Concert venues are places of love and appreciation, yes, but they are also businesses.”

Myers said that as a host to people in her home she gets to exercise real hospitality, to both the audience and the musicians.

“There is something about a good musician and a good audience together, in close proximity without barriers, that makes the experience completely different from seeing someone on a formal stage,” Myers said. “Music isn’t made for a vacuum, it’s made to be shared and when the artist feels safe to share their gift they share it in a way that isn’t possible in a more casual and chaotic setting. Guests at a house concert have made a commitment to the artist by their presence, and that just opens something up that’s kind of sacred, you experience the music in a new way.”

Myers said that at her house concerts she invites people to bring drinks or snacks, for themselves or to share.

“I always have something to drink and nibble available,” she said. “We will set up the house so people will sit on couches, chairs, ottomans, and eventually the floor if we fill up and it ends up feeling like a cross between singing around a campfire and having someone play a personal concert just for you.”

Suggested donations are $10 for Joe Zambon and The Arcadian Wild and $20 for Derek Webb.

“Guests can expect to be, at farthest, 25 feet away from the artist, so even the ‘back’ is like being in the front row of a traditional concert and the shows will be unplugged so a very acoustic, organic feel,” Myers said. “Guests will also get the chance to talk to the artists and get any merch signed, which is really cool.”

Artist Derek Webb said that the hospitality from the hosts also make the shows feel more special than playing at a venue.

“I’ve been playing house shows for over 20 years on and off,” Webb said. “They are super easy to put together and we’ll reach out through social media when I’m trying to tour through certain areas.”

Webb has been performing and releasing music as a solo artist for about 14 years.

“It feels like you’re getting the center of the bullseye when it comes to the job description,” Webb said. “In somebody’s house, no mics, no amps, sitting a few feet singing songs. There’s less work, less prep, and more intimacy.”

Webb is currently working on a new album that will be released in the fall and owns his own music tech company since 2008 called NoiseTrade.

“Probably like anybody else would feel over 20 years, I’m not the same person who wrote the songs on my first record,” he said. “I’m probably not even the same person who wrote my most recent record. It does get tricky being a professional autobiographer. There will be things you wrote 10,15, even 20 years ago that you don’t agree with anymore.”

Webb said that performing his old songs sometimes feels like covering another person’s material.

“You have these little documents that sound familiar, but they’re not who you are anymore,” he said. “If I do this performance right, it should be really disquieting and the audience should be thoroughly confused.”

Although the band he started out in was considered a staple in the Christian music scene in its day, Webb said that he’s never considered himself a Christian artist.

“I don’t really believe in Christian music because music, CDs, or any other physical things can’t have souls,” he said. “Only people can have souls. The term ‘Christian’ when used to describe anything else besides a human is a marketing term.”

Webb said that his own personal beliefs have changed over the past 20 years.

“When we were 19 and 20, we signed our first record deal in the early ’90s, and we didn’t really identify as anything,” Webb said. “We were a folk rock band when we got signed and the record label decided to market us a Christian band when they found out some of the guys in the band were Evangelical Christians. We were so young so we agreed to it but it worked. They sold a bunch of records for us.”

Webb said what they didn’t know was the cost of the Christian label down the road.

“No matter what you do or write or evolve into, it’s just a thing that follows you around forever,” he said. “Maybe this record coming out will finally help shed that image.”

Summertime House Shows Schedule
•June 8 Joe Zambon
joezambonmusic.com

•June 25 Derek Webb
derekwebb.com

•Aug. 18  The Arcadian Wild
thearcadianwild.com

Details: E-mail lindsayraemyers@gmail.com for more information on attending the shows