The little white house at 140 Dunk River Rd. is hiding a secret.
From the outside it’s nothing out of the ordinary. But if you can afford the cover charge – Jeannie Cameron has a surprise for you.
Cameron has transformed the entire first floor of her home into what she’s dubbed the Red Dirt Girl Music Room.
What was a living room is now an intimate small-tabled seating area and a bedroom has been transformed into a performance stage loaded with enough sound, light and instrumental gear to give any musician reason to pause.
It is the culmination of more than 20 years of Cameron’s sketching and planning.
“That’s my dream,” said Cameron.
“It’s a combination of music lovers and musicians that get to be in a fantastic, warm environment with terrific sound,” she said.
“I basically built this room around ‘what is it that I would love to have if I walked into a venue and was performing myself.’”
Cameron is a vocalist and musician who toured Ontario for more than a decade prior to moving home to P.E.I. about 15 years ago. She’s originally from Southwest Lot 16. Her day job is with Efficiency P.E.I.
In April, she purchased 140 Dunk River Rd. from her son, and she and her partner, Sjef Vanderaa, got to work making her dream a reality. She lives in the basement level of the home and has devoted the entire main level to her music venue.
She hosted her first concert in late November and has had several since.
Word is starting to spread, and Cameron has acts booked well into the new year, featuring a number of genres and styles.
Megan Ellands of Crapaud, an aspiring musician and Holland College student, recently performed at an open mic night at Red Dirt Girl Music Room.
“It’s super cool,” said Ellands, describing the experience and location.
“It’s such an intimate venue. She’s got great sound equipment and they know what they’re doing with it. It’s just such a cool atmosphere and Jeannie is the nicest human.”
To cover her costs, Cameron charges a cover at the door. She doesn’t sell alcohol or other drinks, but guests are invited to bring their own from home. There’s also usually some kind of food or snacks on offer at no additional charge.
Cover is a minimum of $25 and most shows start at 7 p.m.
Cameron quips that her dream gig is being able to perform, have a good time, and then be only feet away from her cozy slippers and Netflix and leave the late-night concerts and all-night afterparties to a younger crowd.
For a complete list of shows, Cameron is directing people to her Facebook page Facebook.com/reddirtgirl2019/.
It’s still early days yet for Red Dirt Girl Music Room, but Cameron is excited to see where this latest chapter of her life takes her and she’s hoping Island musicians and music lovers will join her for the ride.