The Listening Room & House Concert Experience

By: Megan Kleinschmidt

When an audience is given an opportunity to get up close and personal with a musician, the experience becomes rich and memorable. House concerts, which are making a huge impact in the music scene today, provide such an experience. Beth Wood, musician and avid house concert advocate, describes the experience, “House concerts create a wonderful opportunity for music fans to experience live performance in an intimate setting. It’s a great way to see music if you aren’t into smoky bars or late nights.”

Listening Rooms, similarly, are venues set up in a configuration that commands an “all eyes on artist” show. Listening Rooms have been around since the time people gathered for music. They give the audience an opportunity to sit down and really listen to the music and connect with the artist with no distractions, something that’s difficult to do in a concert venue or outdoor festival. When asked his opinion on the Listening Room experiences, international recording artist Cary Morin stated, ”It is my favorite thing to do as a solo artist. I like people to be comfortable and be in a place where they can view and listen to music with no interruptions. It is almost like you are having a conversation with the audience.” Jeff Finlin, also an international artist from Fort Collins, added, “I’ve played large theaters in Europe, but there’s nothing better than 100 people in a room.”

A listening room experience is coming to Fort Collins on December 17 when Maple Street Music hosts a benefit for KRFC 88.9 fm in the living room of The Music District. Maple Street Music Agency, located in The Music District, put this event in place to support the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors.” KRFC is Fort Collins’ community radio station,  supporting free-thinking radio and priding themselves on supporting musicians. KRFC is in the process of moving into The Music District and is in need of contributions to their capital campaign.  There can be no better format for a benefit for them than a Listening Room event.

The show will feature Cary Morin, Jeff Finlin, and newcomer sensation Brian Kittrell. When Cary was asked why he is interested in being a part of this show, he responded by saying, “I really like the room we will be playing in. I also love the songs and the styles of Jeff and Brian.” The collective style of music, somewhere between folk, blues, and Americana, is an ideal fit for the venue and event and will lend itself to recording for future use on KRFC. The performances will be presented “eTown style” for radio playback, with conversations between the artists and KRFC’s Andrew Schneider throughout. Brian Kittrell sums it up well for the musicians, “I’ve been having a great time writing songs and lyrics knowing that there’s going to be people actually listening to them instead of just slugging their beer and tapping their feet.” More information about the December 17 show can be found at

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