Host a House Concert. It's Easier Than You Think.
If you've ever been to a house concert, you know how special they are — musicians and songwriters right there in someone's living room (perhaps even your own) and music-loving friends gathered to hear songs as they were meant to be heard: in an intimate setting, up close and without the distractions of coffee steamers, loud patrons, or the latest sporting event on the television. A chance to connect with the artists themselves, to talk art and philosophy, to learn the origins of the songs, or maybe just to share a recipe or a story. Either way, it's an incredibly special way to spend an afternoon or evening.
And if you've never been to a house concert, you owe it to yourself to get to one.
Or better, yet, to host one.
We are always looking for house concert hosts, people who are willing to take a chance on the music. We have worked in many different spaces, in living rooms, yes, but also on porches, in backyards, in barns, and even in the back of our touring rig one cold rainy night when a show was cancelled. (It was the tiniest little house concert but we were on the road anyway, so why not? Our dog Maisie was the only audience member, but we did document it with our trusty iPhone.)
There are only three main ingredients for a house concert with Society of Broken Souls: us, a place to perform, and a group of music-loving friends. That's pretty much it. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want — some folks choose to serve a gourmet meal, though most people make it a potluck; some folks just crack open a bottle of wine or some sparkling water and leave it at that; most people use it as an excuse to clean their house (but you don't even have to that). We have assumed all three roles — performer, audience member, and host — and we can promise you, they're all wonderful roles to play. Our favorite, though, is as performers, because of the lovely, deep, and lasting connections we make there.
We are currently booking tours for 2018; if you are interested in hosting us, we would love to hear from you. Please email us, or send us a message through our Facebook page — we would love to make something work. Once we have a show booked, we can walk you through every last detail so the experience is an easy and enjoyable one for you. (And if you're on the fence, still not quite sure what it's all about, you can read more about house concerts here.)
One more thing: if you think your house is too tiny, just watch the video. There's no such thing as too small.
“Hosting a house concert was one of the easiest and most enjoyable summer gatherings I've ever planned. It was a breeze to invite people through a Facebook event and email. We provided some food and drink and others brought things to share. It was exciting to watch Lauryn and Dennis set up and an absolute treat to hear them play in our backyard. It was all the fun of hearing a concert and none of the hassle, with the added benefit of sharing it with so many friends and neighbors. I can't wait to do it again next summer!”
— Ann Sabbah, Denver, CO
don't take our word for it...
"Society of Broken Souls, otherwise known as Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter, may be tending to the welfare of their souls just like we all do. But, clearly they are not so broken that they fail to lift audiences, at least temporarily, from their mundane and workaday lives.These two speak to audiences in a profound and personal way. Their musicianship is excellent. The stories they tell in their songs can be stark and thought provoking, but also very beautiful and even hopeful. Is their music Americana? Country? Folk? Jazz? Who cares. It is wonderful."
Sam Minner, Las Vegas, NM
"My sister hosted a house concert with Society of Broken Souls on her backyard patio one evening in June. Nearly 30 people nestled in for the show and were clearly transformed by the experience. Enjoying live music in the setting of a private home was an intimate, authentic experience of an entirely different quality than hearing music at a restaurant or bar. People brought food to share and had the opportunity to talk with the musicians afterward. Lauryn and Dennis were entirely self-sufficient in setting up and breaking down their equipment, making the whole event so easy. The novelty of a house concert made for such a memorable evening. We can’t wait to do it again!"
Julie Carey, Denver, CO
"Lauryn and Dennis have performed in our home on three occasions, and were enthusiastically received each time. Their lyrics are thought provoking, and their interactions with each other and the guests are enjoyable, and amusing (especially after Lauryn has downed a shot of moonshine!). If you are considering hosting Society of Broken Souls for a house concert, I would highly recommend this very professional and musically proficient duo."
Teresa Carel, Winona, MO
“Kevin and I were so thankful to host Society of Broken Souls. Lauryn and Dennis were so professional and approachable, they made our first house concert experience seemingly effortless. Their beautiful music filled our home and our hearts. There was so much joy and delight with good friends and new friends. We look forward to hosting many more house concerts and would gladly welcome back our new friends Society of Broken Souls.”
— Stephanie Bell, Pittsburgh, PA
“We hosted Society of Broken Souls on two occasions for concerts in our home. What a great way to experience live music and to share with your neighbors and friends! Dennis and Lauryn are extremely talented and professional, and it was no trouble at all to host the concerts. We got so much positive feedback on the music and the artists from our neighbors and friends, we've begun hosting other musicians as well. Any time Society of Broken Souls will be touring through our area and can fit us into their schedule, we'd host them again in a heartbeat! What a treat to have such amazing music filling our home.”
— Linda Ziccardi, Golden, CO