Join this growing DIY movement, set up a house concert and host your own danged Reido show! From our own tasty originals to classic gold from the 50s to the 80s, tunes from our Leonard Cohen tribute, and more. Both tears and laughter are guaranteed. Reid doesn’t always tour a whole lot so it can be hard to catch him live, this is your chance to grab the wheel.
When you host or attend a House Concert you are joining a long and important tradition of Patronage of the Arts. Heck, even Mozart got his start and made his way in the parlors of music enthusiasts like you. Through the generosity of hosts and attendees, artists receive all monies generated, and can continue to live and focus on creating, rather than hustling in an increasingly competitive and abusive industry. Do you love live music? Would you prefer a more intimate show closer to home? Does it make more sense to bring your preferred beverage and snacks while giving your money directly to the artist without middleman, bad sound, nasty washrooms or crowds and crap sightlines? Everybody wins when House Concerts happen. Did we mention that they start early too?
Please check out the info below to find out more about what it takes to host one of these things…it’s easier than you think. Let us know if you are interested, what dates you had in mind, and we will keep you updated on the travel plans that could make it all possible. If you want to attend an existing house concert (see dates page) just send us an email and we will find out if our hosts are open to other fans attending (they often are). Take the plunge, book a show. email CVM. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Host Reviews
HOW HOUSE CONCERTS WORK – FOR US ANYWAY…
DO YOU THROW A GOOD PARTY?
Why not step up your game and host a house concert? You will quickly become the coolest neighbour on the block…
BE A PATRON OF OLDE!
All door money goes to the artist. (minus perhaps a little to the host if there are expenses like a sound system). This is standard, and an amazing example of how generous and supportive hosts are. They make it possible for artist to continue making music. Like the patrons of olde who nurtured Mozart in their parlors back in the day.
WHAT YOU GET
2 sets of some pretty choice material, a chance to chat with the artist before after and during, and status as the coolest neighbour in your hood. We may even play your special requests. Few things can compare with the uniquely intimate vibe and banter that happens at these shows. Your chance to play a vital role in making live music happen – and night to remember for sure.
This is essentially a private fundraiser for the artist (and also how we keep you from being classified as a business). Usually a minimum $30 ‘suggested donation’ is expected from each guest (depending on location and number of attendees it could be more or less depending on sitch). Many do it for less but we have our minimums for good reasons. Not the least of which is that we no longer sell CDs do to streaming etc. These events are not to be confused with corporate events, or private events like weddings, big birthdays, celebration of life events – a different fee applies for those – see bottom of page for types of events.
HOW MANY PEOPLE?
For us, a minimum of 30 guests are required. RSVPs are pretty key to making sure that happens. Some folks host as many as 75 depending on their home/space/event/social circle. Some artists accdept 10-15 people, and that’s cool, but we require the numbers we do for a variety of good reasons, so if you want a smaller group you could consider suggesting a higher donation or simply hire us for a private event (see bottom of page).
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
When the night comes it can be a little delicate to make sure everyone has paid. Some folks put out a cute box or vase with ‘donations here (suggested $40)’ taped to the front. Works even better if you have a young person greet guests at the door with the money bucket. Consider asking in your invite if anyone wants to volunteer to do ‘the door’. Sometimes the host gets up during intermission to remind everyone.
IS IT LEGAL?
To avoid being considered a ‘venue’ proper (and its associated responsibilities/liabilities), it’s pretty standard to call the door price a ‘donation’ and have this work like a private fundraiser for the artist. And if you knew how hard it is to make a living in music you would want to throw fundraisers all the time! But it’s really important to keep these fine hosts from being taxed or regulated like businesses when they are simply trying to support the artists in the best way possible. This is why we don’t sell ‘tickets’ per se, instead we RSVP to attend this private event. Some folks make their donation via paypal or e-transfer to hold their seat. Entirely up to the host and artist to decide how best to do that. It’s still early days for this phenomenon, so the government and other orgs haven’t quite figured out what to do with this, so we are making up some of the rules as we go 😉
You can start as early as you like! Some folks have a house concert in the afternoon or over brunch, most often folks do doors at 7, show at 8, or somewhere around there. We love early starts, so why not make it a matinee? It’s really up to you. Weekends or week days. Anything goes. Week nights are great for the artist as it helps us fill gaps in our schedule…but Fridays and Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons are usually the most successful for attendance.
The host will often provide accomodationsfor the artist. In our case we tour as a duo and only require one bed (we are married so it’s not a sin, eh?) but it’s not required as we often have other options. Especially if it is close to home. depends on the gig really. Reid is allergic to cats but as long as they are not sleeping in our room he is very happy to have them around. Dogs are a bonus for us – we love poochies!
Make it easy on yourself Many hosts make it a potluck and guests each bring a snack or bottle. This make for tasty times and less work for the host. That said, there needn’t be any food at all, or you can serve a full supper. It’s really up to you. (fyi: we don’t eat meat or dairy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t, just that we wont if anyone is askin’).
How much work is it for the host?
Between us bringing our own wee sound system and the BYOB/potluck aspect, it’s not much more work than organizing a big dinner party. You decide on most things, so decide to do less work! Feel free to ask for a volunteer to help clean up in exchange for admission.
BYOB or not to BYOB
You are welcome to host a dry or wet house concert. Not everyone likes to get boozey, but some do! We are easy either way. You don’t need to provide alcohol but some sell for a small price per glass. Bring your own bottle is the simplest and most common situation.
If the gig is local (BC or Pacific Northwest US) then we have our own sweet sounding little PA for a sound system, but if we are not close to home then often the host will often rent a little sound system from a local music store, or borrow from a friend. This is only to balance the vocals/guitar (Reid has such a tender voice) and make sure everyone can hear. We are far from loud, so don’t worry about the neighbours. In the right room we can go completely unplugged, but that requires some pretty great acoustics.
Take Reid home tonight! CDs will be sold so please encourage folks to bring extra cash, though we do have a ipad app that should allow for credit cards at most shows in Canada (wifi required). We also accept personal cheques as house concert guests tend to be a pretty trustworthy gang. You are free to take (very flattering) photos, and sometimes videos too, just ask first to be sure that we are ready for our close up that day 😉 and send us a link if you post.
INVITES – RSVP
One of the things artists find compelling about house concerts is that the artist doesn”t have to promote it (that is the host’s job), this way we can then focus on making music instead. Usually the host invites all of their local friends and that covers the minimum amount of guests required to make it worth doing. Many hosts opt to allow the artist to invite other local fans come too – but this is not neccessary if you prefer not to have strangers in your house. In any event, all of the guests must RSVP in order to get the exact address (keeping your location secret from web crawlers), and to let the host know approximately how many people to expect. We recomend having a few extra RSVPs to cover the last minute cancellations -cuz those things happen 😉
If you don’t think you can reasonably expect 30+ people, perhaps you are not quite ready to host and should start building your list, and enjoy attending other people’s house concerts to figure out how to make one work for you. Consider teaming up with another person to host when one of you has a big place, and the other is a social butterfly.
We discourage using Evites or Eventbrite (as many of those emails get stuck in spam boxes or ignored. They also don’t have the details at the ready without clicking through or logging in first. Emails (and calls) work best. We usually send you an email RSVP invite that is formatted the way we find works best and contains all the info. you can edit this to suit your needs . ***Please send us a copy of your invite BEFORE you send it out so we can make sure we are represented they way we like. Means a lot to us.
We are always open to house concerts in the area of Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco area...Toronto and Hawaii too. Heck we are even heading to the UK and Ireland. Just throw a date at us and we will see what we can do. You might be the gig that pushes us over the line into visiting a place. You won’t know if you don’t ask!
FERRY FEE / TRAVEL FEES
Due to the added expense and time required to transport ourselves across the water to Vancouver Island (or other wee islands) we sometimes have to institute an added fee (payable by the host) in most situations. Sorry about that!
If you want to bring us in for a special event that requires flying (and not on our tour route at that time) then travel expenses will need to be covered.
All door money goes to the artist. (minus perhaps a little to the help cover cost of sound system or chairs)
More info on house concerts:
OTHER TYPES OF EVENTS
A CHARITY EVENT that would be publicized to the media (and therefore open to the public) would be a benefit concert for a specific charity (usually one that the artist chose themselves or at the very least aligned with). The artist donates all or some of their performance fee to the charity, often in exchange for a charitable receipt in the amount of their usual performance fee. This event would require that you get a permit and potentially also insurance to cover the liability of selling or serving alcohol and food and other aspects of staging an event in your home.
A CORPORATE EVENT is either public or private, one that would promote the products or services of a business, like local pubs & restaurant owners. Artists are hired by a business to play these events for a performance fee (often higher than a regular music event/club/fest due to the fact they are helping to ‘sell’ a brand). Sometimes corporate events are also charity events, where the business uses the goodwill of the charity, and the profile of the artist, to further promote their product or services. In this instance the business usually pays the artists performance fee. Not all artists are interested in doing corporate work, and most will only do it for businesses they align with. This sort of event would also require a permit and insurance.
PRIVATE EVENTS. These would be weddings, big birthdays and retirement celebrations where the host hires an artist (paying them a performance fee) and the guests attend for free. The host often provides the food and drink (but may hire a caterer or sell alcohol if they have a permit). These fees can be higher that club/hall/fest fees to secure the date – with things like weddings they get booked so far in advance, and having an artist want to cancel because they got offered a much bigger gig is a conundrum neither party wants to be involved in 😉
HOUSE CONCERTS These fan focused events first began as a way for super fans to support touring musicians. They fill an important role by helping musicians stay alive between tour dates, providing a place to stay between gigs, and also to supplement the creation of music at a time when CDs just don’t sell the way they used to and streaming services pay only a percentage of a penny per play. The truth is that albums generate very little income these days (it’s almost all downloading and streaming now), but it still cost a fair amount to create/record/produce/manufacture/distribute recorded music. House Concerts provide a way for artists to perform their work to a very attentive listening audience, and sometimes drive a few record sales during or after the event. The hosts we have played for have become good friends and they LOVE hosting them, and we love playing them, and the audience is always happy and convinced they have the coolest neighbours in town.
A HOUSE CONCERT is a private, fan attended fundraiser for the artist (the host often allows the artist to invite other fans). There is no set ticket fee or advance ticket sales, only a ‘suggested donation’ and RSVPs. This would be a private concert for fans who love live music and came, for the most part, solely to listen (unlike the other type of events where the music could be considered background, lots of chatting etc). Again, this is a fundraiser for the artist, much like gathering gift money at a baby shower or for a friend’s trip. The host donates their time and space, and enjoys a spectacularly intimate and up-close concert with the artist of their choosing. Their friends get a fantastic alternative to watching the tube, or attending a concert in a less appealing bar or hall with parking, drinks and late set times. These House Concerts are often BYOB and potlucks. This removes any legal obligations (for the most part) for serving alcohol, food etc as it is a private non-commercial event.
Compensation: Each artist has their own minimum fees for each kind of event, often with a sliding scale depending on the audience, artist interest, and availability. Artists with any kind of profile do not generally perform solely for ‘exposure’ unless it was to a very large crowd at a festival, or a for coveted opening slot for a high profile artist. New artists might tho. We have been working hard on our music (for 2 decades) and are trying to make a living like everyone else. This has become increasingly difficult to do in recent times, so we also maintain part time jobs to ensure we can continue to play the shows we enjoy, and create the kind of music we really want to make. Creative freedom is key to happiness.
The scoop as far as legality goes: Any advertised and open to the general public event, especially where you sell tickets, would qualify you as ‘a venue’, making it a business venture, and that has its own legal and tax obligations. Serving food and alcohol has its own regulations, and you must have a license to do so and someone with ‘Serving It Right’ certification to sell it.
If someone wanted to throw an event like a charity or public event, but did not want to deal with the restrictions of making their home legally fit for public events, then one could rent a space that is already suitable (a hall, restaurant, community centre, or some other public space) and become an ‘Event Organizer’ instead (the organizer can donate their time or get paid by the businesses involved).
That’s the scoop! This can all be a little intimidating for the average fan. Not everyone is up for all of that, but some thrive on bringing community, and culture together in an organized fashion.
Recommendations from hosts
“From minute one it was a pleasure to deal with Reid and his manager/wife Carolyn. Communication was effective and friendly and any questions were quickly answered. Reid and Carolyn were among the most gracious and grateful dinner guests I’ve ever welcomed. But the show they put on was the star of the evening. Soulful, funny, and engaging, the musicianship was second to none. The show expertly built to a pitch that left everyone blown away. Highly, highly, highly recommended.”
“Reid and wife Carolyn sure know how to dazzle a crowd! Just an exceptional performance! They brought to life an amazing tribute to Leonard Cohen…one of our Greats – and charged on with their own style. Along with playing an array of originals and a few covers, their harmonies were executed with a blend of soul soothing perfection. Reid is also an amazingly gifted guitarist. Still haven’t figured out where he keeps his trumpet though – another fine skill. Awesome!”
“One of our best performers. Our seventh year of hosting the Jamieson’s. Reid has one of the best voices in the business and Carolyn is adding superb harmonies and even stepping out on her own a bit. I truly love this couple. You will too.”
“Great show. Reid’s haunting and virtuosic vocals and Carolyn’s fun stage presence make them a great pair together. Their pre-show communication was the best organized I’ve had yet.”
“Reid and Carolyn did a terrific show. They connected with and entertained the audience with their stories. Their harmonies were lovely and the variety of their music and songs kept the show moving in an engaging way. In addition, they were excellent house guests and we spent a lovely morning after the show chatting and watching the orcas swim by in the bay!”
“Anyone who enjoys indie/folk/roots/country music will absolutely love an evening with Reid and Carolyn. We have been hosting home concerts for two years and without a doubt this couple are the most talented songwriters and performers we’ve seen in our home. Many of our neighbours called the next day to say how much they enjoyed Reid’s incredible vocals, his duo’s with Carolyn, and the sheer fun of their interplay. (Guess which one is the extrovert in their family!) Their own compositions were poetic and poignant, and the covers were beautifully done. Our neighbours are all over us to have Reid and Carolyn back again later this year, and we can’t wait to do just that.” LO, CA
November, 2015 – “One of our best performers. Our seventh year of hosting the Jamieson’s. Reid has one of the best voices in the business and Carolyn is adding superb harmonies and even stepping out on her own a bit. I truly love this couple. You will too.”
– “Reid and Carolyn are quite a package. The audience loved them, their music is wonderful and they are fantastic guests. I woke up with Reid’s music on my mind and it’s still with me a day later.”
“Reid and Carolyn were a delight. Reid’s guitar and vocals are outstanding and Carolyn’s added harmony made the evening truly special. A special treat was an unexpected original on Ukelele. We particularly enjoyed the set list for the evening, which included many beautiful original compositions as well as a wide range of covers from the likes of the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and Elvis.”
“The hits just keep on happenin’. Reid’s voice is impeccable and someone should be paying him lots of money to play his music. The depth of their songs (his uber-talented wife co-writes)reaches into the most elusive corners or your soul. I absolutely feel they are two of Canada’s best songwriters. PLUS, and a big plus it is, they are the funniest and among the nicest guests we have had in our house and on our stage.”
“Reid’s third concert at Olalla House filled the house, both with his great voice and our audience. He and his wife Carolyn write songs that make you laugh and cry at the same time, then want to go out and change the world. It’s easy to get caught up in his voice and stories that you forget just how good he is on his guitar and ukulele. So easy to love these people.”
“Concerts on the lake co-hosted Reid at a friends house in Seattle. Reid was joined by wife Carolyn Victoria Mill and they treated us to an unforgettable evening of song, comedy and conversation. The Vancouver, BC pair are totally approachable and great fun to be around and interact with. Reid’s website is amazing – check it out!”
“I was expecting a good concert, I didn’t expect to fall in love. Reid may have the best voice of any of our performers. He and his wife Carolyn however have an interaction that can only be experienced at a house concert. I loved them, the audience loved them.”