Eric Bachmann played a house concert at my place last night. The crowd can best be described as “small but mighty”…. about 20 folks. But those few and proud folks were treated to a fantastic night of tunes… and some funny stories as well.
Because I enjoy Eric’s music so much, part of me wishes more folks showed up, so they could experience his brilliance firsthand. But I promoted it the best that I could (flyers at Shake It Records and Everybody’s Records, attempted giveaway on Inhailer Radio‘s social channels, my weekly email x 2) so I’m at peace. Realistically, Eric’s band Archers of Loaf wasn’t exactly a household name, and their heyday was 25 years ago. At the turn of the century (I feel old just typing that), he formed Crooked Fingers… again, not a band where most folks would recognize the name, let alone the music. And he’s been doing solo albums for several years (his newest is No Recover) but the potential audience is not exactly Taylor Swiftian. So, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. I knew a lot of the attendees, and they’re really cool folks. The strangers that I welcomed into our house turned out to be very nice people as well. They all experienced a very memorable, very enjoyable night of music.
The show was through Undertow music, which books house shows for fringe/niche/indie artists like Eric. They handle all the ticket sales, and keep a 15% fee while the other 85% goes to the performer. Surely a better deal for artists than most gigs. Eric sold some merch too, so he made a bit of coin for his efforts. Not many people buy records these days, and streaming is not lucrative at all for most artists. So gassing up the van and hitting the road, t-shirts and vinyl in tow, is the only way to make a buck. And house concerts offer a more intimate, relaxed setting, with less hassles (and an earlier set time) than a dingy club. It may not be the wave of the future, but it’s the wave of today for the unsung singers, and I’m happy to ride it.
My friend Jacqui was in attendance. She and her husband Dave are my house concert heroes – they’re booking an entire series of house shows throughout the year (they call it Parlor and Patio). And they serve homemade pie at intermission! Hmm, maybe I’ll have to start baking…
Undertow books a lot of house shows, and they’re always looking for hosts. There’s also a company called HomeDitty where you can sign up to be a host for scrappy artists trying to make their way in the music world. If you can’t host, at least attend a few house shows. You won’t regret it. In fact, you’ll enjoy the heck out of it.
Eric Bachmann may not mean much to some of the world (yet!), but having him play at my house last night meant the world to me.