Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Things Get Done

For awhile, it was like a voice calling in the wilderness. We started hosting House Concerts three years ago, and no one had even heard of House Concerts, or why they would want to take the time out to see an artist they had never heard of - who hadn't had a "hit" on the radio.

Slowly but surely, we have built our audience, and our community has gained a greater appreciation of independent recording singer/songwriters. Now collaborative efforts are opening up on all sides to nurture and grow the local music scene.

Last year we began teaming up with 5 Trails Winery in Paxton, not only to enjoy the artists they host, but also to share bookings to increase the return for the artists. Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Valentine's Eve Variety Show at A to Z Books in downtown North Platte, an offshoot of their twice-monthly Open Mic Nights, and had a chance to experience wonderful local talent. That opened up a conversation with the organizers George Lauby and Sharon Owen...

Which led to them coordinating an opening act of local talent for a live music show at the Espresso Shoppe that is now happening on a nearly-monthly basis.

Now I just fielded a telephone call from Mary Jo Brauer, the proprietress of a new Bed and Breakfast in North Platte. She had the good fortune of attending the Four Shillings Short concert at the Espresso Shoppe. It turns out the artists didn't have a place to stay so She offered free-of-charge a room at her B & B, and was rewarded with a great evening of getting to know two extraordinary artists, a couple of complimentary CD's of music, and the promise that the artists would distribute her business cards throughout their travels. She is now contacting A to Z Books, Da Buzz and other live music venues (including the Nebraska Outback House Concert Series) to extend the same offer to their traveling artists.

Yes, that indeed is how things get done in rural Nebraska. Friends helping neighbors and the whole community benefiting.

While I'm at it, I also need to mention that Da Buzz Coffee House offers regular music. Roadies, a T-Shirt shop in the Platte River Mall has hosted their first-ever "Gig", an open-mic style music event, and the Neville Center for the Performing Arts is looking at reviving their "Live at the Neville" series.

Great things happening on the live music scene in North Platte.

Thanks for stopping by. Let's discuss how you can become involved over coffee!

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