Home Routes takes to new P.A. venue a fourth time

Alex Di Pietro
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About 25 music fans huddled inside a resident’s home on First Avenue West Thursday night to hear the blend of guitar, piano and vocal stylings of musician Alan Gerber.

Alan Gerber performs at Lucy James' home in Prince Albert as part of the Home Routes Concert tour. Herald photo by Alex Di Pietro

Gerber was the fourth performer to stop in Prince Albert on the Borealis Trail of the Home Routes Concert series.

Lucy James, who owns and lives at her business Jam Street Music Sessions, is in her first year hosting the Home Routes Concert series.

“They just need a host and the hosts do it for free. We provide supper, the venue and do the advertising,” she said.

Tickets for the show were $20. With the host not being paid and artists usually breaking even due to travel expenses, James said the house concerts are truly meant as opportunities to celebrate music.

Audiences are meant to be small and patrons are admitted to the concerts on an invitation basis. As well, artists often don’t perform with microphones because they aren’t needed.

“It’s an awesome way to have a live intimate concert,” James said. “It’s a small setting, so you’re not going to a big venue … Where do you play if you don’t have a small venue to play at? There’s the bar, but these are not bar artists. They’re original music players.

“You could think of it as a whole bunch of friends who have decided to just hire an artist to play at home,” James added.

James decided to take over for the couple that previously hosted the Prince Albert-based Home Routes Concerts.

James is also a member of P.A. band All Mighty Voice.

“I have to mention that it’s not only me taking it over,” she said, noting her band’s involvement with the Home Routes series. “Officially, we are all hosting together, because I don’t have a place for (the artists) to sleep here.”

The turnout for Thursday’s show was about average, as James noted between 20 and 30 people have attended each of the shows.

“I guess it takes a while for the new venue to catch on,” she said.

James noted that All Mighty Voice would be interested in participating in the Home Routes tour at some point.

There are a number of tours under the Home Routes Concert series, with the Borealis Trail consisting of stops in North Battleford, Battleford, Prince Albert, Napatak, Melfort, Star City, Annaheim, Green Water Lake, the Pas, Thompson, Flin Flon, Minitonas and Birtle.

The final two shows to wrap up the tour in P.A. include Shari Ulrich on March 8 and Dennis Ellsworth on April 6.


Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: North Battleford, Green Water Lake, Flin Flon

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