Woke up to a dusting of new snow that was gone by noon. Only a few dirty-gray-white winter leftovers remain as the sun burns a bright spot behind the clouds — too shy to show its full face. Does this presage one of those jolting seasons when Mother Nature forgets about spring and jumps into summer without warning?
That’s what seems to happen in Gloucester’s music scene. Before you know it your choices for live music double, but don’t worry. We’ll continue to help you sort it all out with Cape Ann’s only complete live music listing here.
If you think about it, there really are two kinds of music venues: restaurants/clubs and what musicians call “listening venues”. (That is, until the weather gets nice enough to add a third: boats with music cruises.) For now, suffice it to say that we’re extremely lucky to live in an area with an abundance of good restaurants and clubs who offer live music for free because they’re able to make a living on the food and drink they serve.
A good club can make for a great experience (both for artist and fan) but sometimes you end up in a singer vs. crowd competition like the one I wrote about here.
Chelsea Berry wrote an excellent song about this very issue:
And now there’s even a facebook page dedicated to promoting listening venues in MA. See it here.
Free from the distractions of TV, clanging silver & dishware, people talking, wait staff running around and kitchen noise, the concert milieu connects you with the artist through an intimate, intense bond that’s simply impossible to maintain in a restaurant or bar. And when you’re on stage you can feel that energy, soak it in and give back something more powerful that seems to arise spontaneously out of the ether.
Luckily, we live in an area with several excellent listening venues. Good coffee houses: Old Sloop in Rockport. One World in Essex and Crosswinds in Gloucester. Cape Ann’s crown jewel, the Shalin Liu performance Center and the Larcom Theatre down the road in Beverly.
With your help, Gloucester’s iconic UU Meetinghouse is working to restore their balcony so it can become another major listening venue and we’re helping them by presenting concerts in the church to raise money for that effort. Cape Ann Winter Solstice started this project off by packing the house on December 21. We’re doing it again on April 25 with The Number Nines featuring top Cape Ann talent 3rian King, Chelsea Berry, Renee Dupuis and Dennis Monagle together with Boston stars Meff and Brendan Burns. If you want to be sure to get a seat, you probably shouldn’t wait until the last minute to buy your tickets. Get them now here: