Bryan Russo first and foremost is a musician. In addition, he is the voice of WAMU 88.3 Ocean City's Coastal Connections and entertains and educates us with thought provoking stories about both current topics and the history of the region. He was slated to co-bill Saturday's show with Naked Blue, but unfortunately had a change in plans and will not be here. Prior to this, we had asked Mr. Russo to write an article for our blog and we were so thrilled with his piece that we wanted to share it. Bryan- thank you for the sharing your love of the SLR, we'll miss you this weekend. Naked Blue will perform Saturday at 8 pm.
The size (of the room) does matter. by Bryan Russo
It goes without saying that musicians and artists come in different shapes and sizes. They look different, they sound different, and those idiosyncratic qualities define them both as individuals and as artists.
Oftentimes, the thing I like most about an artist is the thing that sets them apart from everyone else....Sometimes its the tone of their voice, the style of their writing, their phrasing when they sing, or perhaps even the subject matter of the songs.
But for me, the same thing applies to venues: aka jukejoints, concert halls, bars, restaurants, honkytonks, stadiums, ampi-theatres and even living rooms.
Each room where you see live music has its own soul, sound, character, and draw....and just like the room can enhance or inhibit a musical experience for the audience, it can have the same sort of impact for the artist.
Big crowds of thousands may fill the wallet for a night, but small intimate crowds are what fills artistic soul and can sustain a career, and it's all based on the wonderfully intimate connection that small rooms provide between the artist and the audience.
I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Stoltz Listening Room inside the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton is one of those special small rooms, and it goes far beyond the top notch staff, the kick-ass acoustics, or the uber-hip decor.
As far as listening rooms go, the Stoltz has a swagger all its own...for both the audience and the artist.
Bryan Russo (the author is a singer/songwriter, composer, an award-winning journalist, and host of Coastal Connection on WAMU 88.5 FM in Washington DC and 88.3 FM in Ocean City, MD)