Event offers unique opportunity for music lovers
Rev. Arthur Davies displays a poster outlining the upcoming Home Routes concert season. The intimate concert series will be held at Davies home, Emmerdale Eden Farm in Linkletter. The series starts Sept. 24. Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE - Islanders have a unique opportunity to experience music from across North America through the national non-profit arts organization Home Routes.
Home Routes operates 14-house concert circuits across Canada from the Yukon to Prince Edward Island.
House concerts are a North American tradition that developed within the folk-roots milieu to introduce artists to wider audiences.
One of the venues is the Linkletter home of Rev. Arthur and Tina Davies, Emmerdale Eden Farm.
Davies said that during the 1950s folk music era, a significant number of young people began to choose folk singing as a profession. But soon the number of performers far exceeded the number of places to play so house concerts became and remain a significant part of the music scene.
“That satisfied the need at the time and Home Routes has just built on that,” he said. “They hope that you can get 25 people, if you can, to come to the concert. Over the last few years locally, they haven’t had that many. People have gone and enjoyed it but they never had the numbers.”
Davies said he isn’t sure why the numbers weren’t there.
Davies said the experience is like a house party. The atmosphere is casual and intimate with virtually no separation between the performer and the audience.
Davies has a 1,200 square-foot room above his garage that serves as the venue for the concerts. He said he can comfortable seat 60 people and still have room to mingle.
“It’s been really successful so far,” he said.
Davies said Home Routes has been on the Island for a few years but many of the venues it once used are no longer involved.
Davies he got a call from one of the other venues asking if he would like to take over and be a host for the artists.
“They know the size of our house and our room and we said sure, why not? We have the space. Let’s try it so, we did.”
Davies said about 30 people showed up to each of the first two shows.
“We didn’t publicize it,” he said. “We just sent out some notices to people that we knew. The next, people came and another great turnout. We started the Home Routes thing and it was really successful. There were a lot of people coming out and that’s without advertising.”
There were no Home Routes acts scheduled for the summer months so Davies invited Theresa Doyle.
Doyle drew nearly 50 people.
“I’ve got Catherine MacLellan coming next week and I’ve already sold 50 plus tickets,” Davies said. “So, we’re full for that one. Meanwhile we’ll continue the Home Routes (later in September).”
Davies said tickets are $15 and all of the proceeds go to the performer. The venue operator is not paid It’s a volunteer effort.
Each artist brings their music to a different area throughout the season.
Davies said the new season for Home Routes starts for him on Sept. 24, when Red Moon Road from Manitoba performs at Emmerdale Eden Farms. In the following weeks, the venue will see Rik Palieri from Vermont on Oct 24; Grant Simpson and Kate Weekes from the Yukon Territories, Nov. 22; Louise and Helene from P.E.I. on Deb. 8; Evie Landon Duo from California, March 9; and John Roberts from New York on April 8. For concert information contact Arthur and Tina Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org of at 436-5180 or 439-3077.