CADYVILLE - There's a new venue in the local music scene.
Dr. C. Thomas Gerner has opened the doors of his Park Row home to the public, hosting a regular series of house concerts. The idea came about five years ago after Gerner saw English musician Francis Dunnery in concert in Burlington, Vt.
"I remember being on his Web site and seeing he's willing to play for you at your house," recalled Gerner. "I talked to the woman who does booking for him and I asked her why he'd be willing to do that when he can play for 250,000 people with Robert Plant. I didn't know why he'd want to play for 50 people at my house."
Gerner said her response was that Dunnery got more enjoyment out of playing for smaller audiences.
"She said the intimacy of the musical experience is what's he's after as an artist," said Gerner. "She said that 250,000 is great, but is sort of impersonal."
Gerner eventually brought Dunnery to his home in Cadyville for a performance and has had him back several times, he said. That gave him the idea to invite in more artists.
"It finally dawned on me that I didn't have to wait for Francis to host a concert," said Gerner. "It turns out that a lot of very talented artists are finding house concerts are cooler than performing at bars and bigger concerts." Gerner turned a spare room in his home into a makeshift concert hall, bringing in enough folding chairs and couches to seat 50 people, and installing a sound system that compliments the room's natural acoustics.
Since formally establishing what he calls the "Cadyville Concert Hall," Gerner has welcomed more than half a dozen artists, playing everything from blues to folk music. Having local musicians like Roy Hurd, Lita Kelly and Jay Lesage and internationally-known acts like Darden Smith and Francis Dunnery, create a good mix for music lovers, he said.