NOTE: The Shovels and Rope concert scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 4, has been canceled. Radcliff hopes to bring the duo back at a later date.CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On Tuesday, Parkersburg-based singer/songwriter John Radcliff welcomes maybe the biggest act yet to his 816 Quincy Hill Concert Series. The Charleston, S.C.-based Americana duo Shovels and Rope (Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst) brings its month-old record, "O' Be Joyful" -- and no doubt a few fans -- to Radcliff's house for a show that's part of a big U.S. tour.
Radcliff has been putting house shows on since 2007 as a way for him to see musicians stop in Parkersburg on their way to other towns. The gazz caught up with him to see how he does it.
Q:How organic a process has it been putting on house shows?
A:"It started with the Kevin Montgomery 50 States in 50 Days tour. I followed him on MySpace and caught on to what he was doing and that he needed a show in West Virginia.
"When I saw how it could be, I started looking for acts I wanted to see. Then acts started contacting me.
"It has just evolved over the years to where I may do about 30 percent of the first contacts and receive 70 percent. That makes me feel good about the whole process because there have been some bad nights, and these folks still suggested me to their peers."
Q:House shows are generally something you hear about teenagers doing when their parents are out of town. How much does being a musician help you with putting your shows on?
A:"I try to have everything ready for them. I know after driving all day it's nice to be welcomed and get a helping hand with all the grunt work. If they want my opinion about the mix, I can lend an ear.
"Being a fan is a hard thing to control, though. I always like the sound checks and hearing how it's going to sound. In preparation for the show, I don't have a lot of time to stand around, but when I can, it's really special to listen one-on-one before anyone gets there.
Q:What kind of crowd do these shows bring in?