#LRFest – Listening Room Festival 2022 Recap!

Showcase at the Palladium Theater, March 25th 2022. Photos by Donna Green

As we approached our Tenth annual LRFest, we were still in uncertain times, with a significant portion of our community still concerned about Covid, vaccines, and Russian invasions to boot. Despite the jitters, we had a wonderful festival, and managed to please a fantastic group of performers – Danny Schmidt, Sam Robbins, Mare Wakefield & Nomad, and The Whispering Tree.

When we started LRFest in 2012, it felt like a moonshot. I wanted to create a gathering to celebrate house concerts, and to create a music showcase opportunity in the middle of a profitable tour. Most importantly, they build a base of friends, fans and potential gigs in Florida that will pay dividends for years to come.

As is the case with house concerts, the sweet, listening vibe and profitability are the obvious rewards that mask the more important developments of community and connection. On this front, each year, we see more hosts and fans travel to Tampa Bay area to attend shows and make new friendships. We see them cooperate for routing, lodging, and even for volunteer help at each other’s events. The festival community is creating a rich, cultural tapestry of music support in our region.

For me, the biggest thrill is the growing number of hosts and fans who travel to St. Petersburg for this event. They come from different cities, different states, and even different countries – to take in a music vacation filled with house concerts and time with their tribe. Thanks to Dani Goodband, Jim and DeBrenda Michienzi, and Alice Schaefer for making the trip this year!

We hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind festival.

House Concert Photos from LRFest 2022. 

See you next year?

Will you apply as a performer
Will you host a show in Florida or the southeast?
Will you join your music tribe for a music vacation?


The Artist You Don’t “No”

House concert hosts and venues, over time, develop a “feel” for what artists tend to be like. Years on the road and stage can shape most of us in similar ways. Of course, artists are not all the same.

One way artists differ is how they book shows. There is a spectrum between distracted/disorganized/timid and focused/organized/tenacious.
The former artist will reach out once, maybe twice, and anything short of an enthusiastic reply means they will disappear from your life, for at least a year or two.

The latter artist will email again and again until you respond. Nothing short of a strict “No thank you” will deter them from reaching out until they have a solid answer. You might find them tiring because they “won’t get the hint,” but tenacious ones tour more and have longer careers. They deal with many hosts who are also distracted/disorganized, and the artist’s persistence leads to success often enough that they stick with it.

Some hosts are actually grateful that the artist hung in there and tried again.

Always keep this in mind. You should only host artists you are excited about. If you are unlikely to get excited about this artist, you are only wasting your time AND theirs by not saying so.

Artists are human, and in our network they are professionals. They deserve a clear answer.
It’s OK for a host to be uncertain, but if your gut feeling is “no,” it’s best for everyone if you just say it.

YES is our favorite answer.
NO is our second favorite answer.

The artist you don’t NO sometimes wishes you did.

Fran Snyder Podcast: Bill Metts – Getting Off the Wheel with songs that heal.


Bill tells Fran about: 

Providence Rhode Island in the mid 60s.
the fun way he picked up guitar
Taj Mahal’s early influence on him as a musician
Mississippi John Hurt as a fingerstyle hero
Meeting and getting the nod from Thom Bresh at the Commodore in Nashville
Americana Community Music Association 
Hope by Song – helping people with trauma turn pain into songs
How singing songs over and over can shape your character
Silver linings in 2020 – The Long and Short of It, his americana string band.
Going back to basics on his next project


Fran Snyder Podcast is brought to you by
ListeningRoomNetwork.com and https://AmericanaCMA.org​

Fran Snyder Podcast: Robert Bidney – getting cuts and cutting your teeth as a published songwriter.


Robert tells Fran about: 

  • NYC/Ohio/FL
  • First published cut
  • Knocking on doors and gigging in NY
  • Connecting with Americana Community Music Association
  • Island Hopper Songwriter’s Festival
  • Silver linings in 2020
  • Working on new records and participating in the growing Americana Community Music Association.


Fran Snyder Podcast is brought to you by
ListeningRoomNetwork.com and https://AmericanaCMA.org​

Fran Snyder Podcast: RayCerbone singer-songwriter and founding member of Americana Com. Music Assoc.


Ray tells Fran about:
Growing up in the Bronx and WestChester NY
“Music Row” in NYC
His first guitar for “$10”
Learning guitar and his first Donovan song via Mel Bay books.
Meeting Roy Schneider 
Keeping guitars at hand
Meeting Shannon Larkin of Godsmack
Joining the Apocalypse Blues Band
Working on new records and participating in the growing Americana Community Music Association.

Ray’s website is https://steelonwood.com

Fran Snyder Podcast is brought to you by

Fran Snyder Podcast – Red River Roses: A Jam Session Turns into Local Driveway Gigs


Charlotte and Rachel tell Fran: 
How they met
Their love of bluegrass music
Open jam session/rehearsals lead to a band
Rehearsal leads to a gig
Gig leads to more gigs
Epidemic leads to a driveway tour of the neighborhood!

Fran Snyder Podcast is sponsored by:

Fran Snyder Pocast: John Hall – Still the One – Rocking on Stage and in Congress.


John Hall tells Fran about: 

Elmyra NY
Writing hits like “Still the One” and “Dance with Me”
Meeting Joni Mitchell in an awkward way
Redemption at a Halloween Party
Touring as opening act for Jackson Browne
Running for Congress and voting on the ACA
His book, “Still the One: A Rock’n’Roll Journey to Congress and Back”
New videos and projects
and more!

“Home” video: https://youtu.be/aAcM99xWFnM

Fran Snyder Podcast sponsored by: 

Please subscribe!

Fran Snyder Podcast: Reckless Saints turn 2020 into an artistic growth phase.


Roy Schneider and Kim Mayfield tell Fran about:

Meeting online on GreenSingles.com !
Digital art and Roy’s syndicated cartoon strip.
The rough 80s for Roy
Upcoming solo and duo projects
Adapting to the future of touring
Americana Community Music Association (ACMA) in Ft. Myers FL. 


Fran Snyder Podcast sponsored by:

Fran Snyder Podcast: Grace Morrison on the rock n roll tourbus at 16 to the world of house concerts


Singer-songwriter Grace Morrison shares her early days as a backup singer and the transition to a touring singer-songwriter. Based in Cape Cod, Grace has opened for rock and folk heavy-weights, and is releasing a new record soon. Enjoy!


Fran Snyder Podcast brought to you by:
https://ListeningRoomNetwork.com – house concerts worldwide.
https://TrueFire.com – the best online music lessons.

Fran Snyder Podcast: Avi Wisnia on the Philly music scene, and launching his first album in 10 yrs!


Avi tells Fran about playing in New York vs Philadelphia, sharing songs and helping local songwriters in the Philly Songwriters Circle. Also, touring with his holocaust surviving grandfather, helping him share his songs and stories.


Fran Snyder Podcast brought to you by:

https://ListeningRoomNetwork.com – house concerts and more.

https://TrueFire.com – learn, practice, play.