The Eureka House Concerts was started in 2004 as a not-for-profit listening room by Dr. Jim Dudley, Roscoe Van Jones and John Babbs, and is now headed into its 14th season of bringing outstanding musical performances in an cozy setting at $10 per performance with season tickets.
“We host six concerts a year showcasing the best singer–songwriters in the music world today,” Dudley said. “All money donated to our concert series goes to the artists, except a small portion we use to rent our music hall. Our concerts are on Sundays starting at 5 p.m. with a meet-and-greet potluck with the music starting at six. We try to have a local artist open the concert with a few songs.”
Dudley said the Eureka House Concerts arose out of a love of good music and songwriting.
“We also have a venue, the Eureka Springs Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 17 Elk St., which is intimate and possesses fabulous acoustics,” Dudley said. “We decided to do Sunday evening bookings so top-flight performers would be able to stop over in Eureka Springs on their way to bigger venues. Over the years, two things have happened: we have developed a knowledgeable and appreciative audience for good performances and songwriting, and our reputation has grown to where today performers of renown seek us out. They want to come to Eureka House Concerts and see what the buzz is about.”
Dudley said frequently the singers and songwriters fall in love with Eureka and the townspeople fall in love with the artists.
“That is our goal,” he said. “We have had several performers who have headlined at major festivals including Grammy nominees and winners Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy LaFave, Ronny Cox, Mary Gauthier, Mollie O’Brien, Cosy Sheridan, and many more. This year will be no exception with a line-up of excellent, well-known performers including Chuck Brodsky (the only singer in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame), Ray Bonneville (Juno Award nominee), Rebecca Loebe (from the TV series The Voice), and several others.”
Nancy Paddock, who has been organizing the event for about seven years, said it is chance to see truly world-class musicians in a very small venue.
“The concert is all about the music,” Paddock said. “It is a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere for people who truly appreciate great music.”
The concert series kicks off Sept. 17 with Rebecca Loebe.
“Rebecca Loebe has in incredible voice,” Paddock said. “She was one of the finalists on the TV show The Voice. Her songwriting is excellent. She has been featured on Sirius radio recently. She did a tour of Europe this summer. Beyond that, she is just a wonderful human being.”
In addition to Europe, Loebe has performed in 44 states, as well as Canada, Europe and Japan. She was named to Alternate Root Magazine’s annual listing of The Top 10 Female Singers in America.
Chuck Brodsky, who has been writing songs for more than 30 years, will return on October 1. “He writes baseball songs and is the only songwriter in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Paddock said. “He has a lot of humor and pathos in his songs. He wrote a song about Radio, an autistic man, and Chuck was featured in the movie Radio.”
Brodsky uses wit and irony, set to haunting melodies, to tell stories of oddball and underdog characters through syncopated guitar strumming or sweet finger-picking. “His songs celebrate the goodness in people, the eccentric, holy, profound, courageous, inspiring and beautiful,” his website said. “They poke fun at what needs to be poked, and sometimes they challenge. They’re sworn to tell the truth.”
One Nov. 12, the performance will be by Ray Booneville.
“He was working as a bush pilot in Alaska when he had an epiphany after a close call and decided to become a songwriter,” Paddock said. “Ray is an incredible guitar player who has played with many famous blues musicians. He has a lot of great stories to tell.”
February’s performance will be announced later followed by classically trained singer-cellist-songwriter Sarah Clanton on March 25 and pianist Radoslav Lorković on April 15.
The Eureka House Concerts is seeking sponsors who receive 12 tickets to be used at any concert, their logo listed on the webpage, listings on all promotional material and mentioned and thanks at each concert. Sponsorships are $120 or a donation of lodging.
“We always need lodging for our artists,” Paddock said. “One night’s stay at lodging will pay for your sponsorship.”
Paddock said the Eureka House Concert is a great place to be.
“It is just an enjoyable way to relax with your friends and neighbors,” Paddock said.
Other volunteers for the Eureka House Concert includes Deb O’Donnell and Nancy Brooks. For more information call (479) 244-0123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.eurekahouseconcerts.com