I’ve written before about house concerts, and I know I’ll write about them again.
Like now, for example!
I enjoy house concerts because they reintroduce me to those who live their lives daringly. Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting Peter Mulvey and experiencing his music for the first time. I’d never heard of him before being invited to his show. I did a bit of Googling, and I discovered that he tours via bike at least some of the time. There’s no separate tour vehicle. He and his mates carry all of the their equipment on their bikes with them, and off they go! I’d say that’s taking the traveling troubadour thing up a notch.
I don’t think that Peter arrived to this concert on bike. And as far as the concert goes, all I can say is you need to check out Peter’s music if you aren’t already familiar with him. I’m pretty terrible at describing how music sounds in prose. I can say that his stories had me laughing in my seat, and some of his songs did too. But there were also songs that had me near tears. His guitar skills are exceptional, and I enjoyed the range of both his voice and the style of his songs. He is certainly a master of his craft, and I feel fortunate to have discovered his music.
Traveling musicians aren’t the only ones who live daringly of course, and house concerts are a great place to meet those folks too.
First, I’ll mention the people who made me feel more at home at the concert. I was feeling shy when I first arrived. The friends I was meeting hadn’t yet arrived, and I was feeling self-conscious because I didn’t really know anyone else. I wasn’t feeling super adventurous right then, so I didn’t put myself out there to introduce myself. I was relieved when people started initiating conversation with me. I was feeling out-of-place, and they helped to assuage the self consciousness I was feeling. On another day, when I’m feeling more myself, I’ll return the favor to someone else.
I really appreciate those that reached out to me yesterday, but the list of inspiring people goes on: Of course there’s the musician who shares his stories and songs with complete strangers. There are also the concert hosts who open their homes time and again to share this wonderful music. There are those who have never attended a house show before, and those who have been to hundreds. There’s the woman who drove all the way from Gainesville, because she had to listen to Peter’s music live once more. (She also like my homemade crackers!) All are inspiring to me, and I look forward to seeing them at future shows.
I also appreciate the opportunity to make new friends. My friends were a bit late, but we did end up meeting up. They introduced me to another set of friends that were also attending the concert. After the show we went to The Independent, a nearby local pub. Parts of the group left as the night went on, but a couple of us stayed, drank, and enjoyed each other’s company (and tried to make some sense of the dating world – no consensus was reached) until 11:00. It’s an open-air bar, and it was 53F at 11:00 last night. I’ll have a hard time convincing my friends up north that 53F is cold, but sitting outside in 50F weather from 6:30-ish until 11:00 isn’t exactly a heat wave either. I was definitely feeling a little frosty on my bike ride home last night. But also very grateful to have made a connection with people that I didn’t know existed before that night.
There’s so many good things about house concerts, and every time I go to another one it reemphasizes my love of them. Aside from exposing you to fantastic music, they can introduce you to new people and take you outside of your comfort zone. I feel that the latter is an integral part of living daringly, and meeting new people certainly plays a part in that too.
So, thank you to Peter Mulvey and the concert hosts for bringing together this diverse group of people. I’m so glad that house concerts exist, and I look forward to sharing future experiences with current and future friends and the blogging community.