If you have been following Re-Discover Washington on Facebook, you have for sure seen that we have a new music venue in town. The Listening Room Concert Series at Main Events hosted their first concert at the end of April, and they have been bringing great musicians to Washington ever since. Where is the venue located? At the former Mannwell’s Coffee Alley, 110 West Main Street, Washington, MO. Who owns it? Stacy Bernard, a lovely lady who agreed to do an interview for the blog.
1. How did you decide to start hosting concerts at The Listening Room?
I have wanted a venue for a long time. As a radio DJ, I love introducing people to music and artists. Hearing music live, in an intimate setting is quite a delight. For me, at times this has been a life changing experience hearing music this way. I like to share that opportunity with others. Cheryl Heggemann, owner of Main Events (formerly Mannwell’s Coffee Alley) was looking to rent the space, and I jumped at the opportunity.
2. Why did you pick a venue in downtown Washington?
I love the town of Washington! It is so beautiful!! I’ve been spending more and more time here. When Cheryl provided the opportunity, it just seemed like a natural fit, as there wasn’t any other venue in town to hear live acoustic music.
3. How do you pick the musicians who perform at the Listening Room?
Having been a DJ for over 8 years now, I’ve met many musicians and I am familiar with their work through the radio. I focus on singer-songwriter/folk musicians. People with a story to tell through their music, which will be difficult to be heard in a bar setting with all the bar noise.
The Listening Room is just that. A listening room. A place where the artist can pour their heart out in a song, and people actually listen to the words. Hear the chords. Actually hear the creak of the wood in the guitar. No chatter. No bar noise. A place to enjoy a song, in it’s purest and simplest form. The way a song usually starts, with a voice and a guitar.
Artists I have scheduled and have upcoming are relatively local, as well as nationally touring singer-songwriters. And they are coming to the town of Washington, to play for YOU!
4. Can people bring food/drinks while they listen to music?
I am working on getting a liquor license to be able to sell beer/wine. I do provide soda, water and light snacks. Folks are welcome to bring their own food/beverage.
5. Do you have concert booked every week?
Just about. Some weeks I have 2-3 shows in a row. For example, near the end of July, nationally touring Boston based singer-songwriter Amy Black will be appearing Thursday, July 24th, Kevin Bilchik of St. Louis will be appearing Friday, July 25th and The Wilhelms will play on Saturday, July 26th. Three nights of a variety of talent. I do not have anything booked the weekend of the fourth of July yet. I am working on getting other shows for August and beyond. The word is getting out and musicians and their agents are contacting me. It is a matter of what I have available and if it fits their schedules as to when they are coming through this area.
6. Is there a particular style of music you favor?
7. Anything else you’d like to add?
The Listening Room Concert Series at Main Events is a unique opportunity to hear local/regional/national touring performers in an intimate venue without the bar noise. Much like a house concert, where the artist is within 5 feet of the audience. Much like music used to be played long ago in the parlors and living rooms of individual homes. This is a place to discover your new favorite song, and meet the person who wrote it, and interact with them. A place to share that experience with like-minded individuals. A community of music! I encourage everyone to come and check it out. Bring your friends! Events are posted on the window of the venue, Main Events, as well as on our Facebook page.
The Listening Room Concert Series at Main Events is located at 110 West Main Street. Check the window for upcoming shows or their Facebook page. Visit them soon to get your live music fix!