Cooldog concert series kicks off with The Kennedys
By Jia Din
“Some people buy an RV, we do house concerts.”
This is what Beth Fizell says of her not-so-cheap hobby of putting on concerts in her house and backyard for people in the community.
Fizell, of the Kenton area, and her husband, Paul Gumerman, have been doing a monthly house concert series for about three years.
The Kennedys, well-known in the world of folk music, will be performing, along with opening act, 19-year-old Catherine Tuttle of the Philadelphia area, on Saturday, May 27, as another installment of the series.
The Kennedys are Pete and Maura Kennedy, a husband and wife pair of singer/guitarists, who perform a mixture of folk, rock, pop and country. Fizell said The Kennedys are one of the best bands of their kind.
“Pete is one of the most amazing guitar players. He plays different styles,” she said. “You’ll marvel at the work he does.”
Fizell said she and her husband have known The Kennedys for years and have played for their house concert series in the past.
“Their stuff is very upbeat and very family friendly,” Fizell said.
Fizell and Gumerman don’t make a profit out of the shows and all of the donations go to the musicians.
“This is not a business, it’s just a very expensive hobby,” she said.
Fizell said house concerts are done all over the world and they’re a good way for people to come together and enjoy music.
“It’s a nice way to have an intimate experience and be able to see great musicians in a relaxed setting,” she said.
In the beginning, bands who played at the series were mainly friends of Fizell and Gumerman, but now, Fizell said, various bands send her CDs at least twice a week.
“We’re now booking some major acts that play at larger festivals,” she said.
Since Fizell and Gumerman use their house for the concert, they require people to visit their website and introduce themselves. After talking to potential concertgoers for a bit on the phone, Fizell said, she then gives them their home address.
A covered dish is requested of all attendees to help keep the cost of putting on the concert reasonable, Fizell said.
“Having people bring food is interesting because the dishes end up matching the personalities of the guests,” she said.
Bringing folk music to the Dover area is an important part of the series.
“We bring a lot of music that doesn’t wind up coming to this area. They’re not a whole lot of venues in Dover for live original music,” she said.