Local music fan welcomes traveling musicians to the Roots and Soul Music Room.
What started off as an annual tradition for one Fredericton family has now become an important pillar in the city’s musical landscape, providing a stage, a meal, a place to sleep and with any luck, an audience for traveling musicians to perform in front of. Over the past year, Fredericton resident Eddie Young and his family have been welcoming musicians and music lovers into their home for a growing series of intimate performances.
“It started with having an annual Christmas Party where I would have live music,” said Young. “The first artist being Jens Jeppesen. I made some contacts while helping book acts for the Nashwaak Music Festival. I found that our space [at home] was good for hosting this type of thing and it was always in my mind to have my own venue, so I started planning to do one show a month. It just went from there.”
After starting a Facebook page in late 2014 and later launching a website, Young now finds musicians reaching out to him directly, and will be hosting four to five shows a month during the summer.
“The reception has been awesome,” he said. “The artists appreciate a home cooked meal and a place to sleep as opposed to sleeping in the van or having to get a motel room. I have a family of four young children and my wife Holly of course, and everyone likes the family atmosphere. We are a very friendly home and welcome everyone.
“The audience we attract are commenting how they like the intimacy of the show. The people coming here are typically the ones who are not going to go to the club to see a band play.”
Hosting house concerts is a labour of love for the Young family. The main priority has always been to offer a great experience for the artists and the audience. Donations at the door go directly to the artists performing that night.
“I don’t do this to make money,” said Young. “I have a full time job. I want to provide a place for people to come and enjoy an evening and feel safe, and bring some of this music back to where Roots music started – in people’s kitchens. I am very passionate about music of all kinds and some of these excellent musicians and songwriters are struggling to be able to play their music in front of a listening crowd. All money that I collect at the door currently goes back to the artist so in fact, it costs me each time I do a show. I have recently bought a sound system so I do not have to rent each time now, so that helps. Down the road I would like to be able to cover the expenses. It will come.”
Check out some of the upcoming performances at the Roots and Soul Music Room.
May 8 | The Young Novelists (Toronto)
May 9 | Washboard Hank (Ontario) Kids show at 3:00pm and evening show at 8:00pm.
May 14 | Alex Visia and Lindsay Walker (Edmonton)
May 28 | Dan Walsh (Ontario)
May 29 Drake Adams & the Sticky Bandits (NB)
June 2 | Carolina Hum & Justice RF (Ontario)
June 5 | Red Haven (Vancouver)
June 6 | Syd perry (Toronto)
June 12 | Belle Plaine (Saskatchewan)
June 17 | Dan Walsh (UK) & Meaghan Blanchard (PEI)