Once that touring was done I was left with a puzzle. I had a
new record I was really proud of. I wanted to get out on
the road, play as much as possible and keep building my
audience. Shawn’s fans are an amazing group of people who took
my new album to their hearts and became great advocates of my
So I knew there were 20 or more US cities where I could
draw a nice crowd, but they were separated by hundreds
or thousands of miles. There were also many towns and cities
where I had never played. As an independent artist funding
everything myself I had to balance the excitement of getting
out there to play to as many people as possible with the
financial reality that touring had to make sense. So the
question was, how could I tour in new markets where very few
people had heard of me?
For me house shows became a big part of the solution. I hadn’t
heard about them before I came to the USA, but many musicians
have been doing them for years and they’re becoming an
important part of the music scene, particularly for independent
artists. The idea is a simple one. A fan or music enthusiast
hosts a show at their home, they invite friends and fellow
music lovers to come and hear you play, all the guests make a
donation to keep you rolling down the road, at the end you sell
your merchandise and hang out with the audience.
House shows can take you to living rooms all over the USA,
backyards in Tucson and even Malibu beach!
For an emerging artist house shows can be a great way to tour.
Here are just a few reasons why:
• House shows can build your audience in new
markets – House shows beat the pants off social
marketing platforms as a way to meaningfully reach new people.
At a house show one of your fans is telling their friends
‘please come and hear this artist I love’…it’s a wonderful
recommendation, which people really notice.
• Your only overhead is gas – I usually stay
with the hosts of my house shows, so I don’t have any expenses
for food or lodging – just the gas to get there. All the money
people donate or spend on merch keeps me touring and making