Andy and Renee in House Concert: Catch Them When You Can!

House concerts—what a concept! Invite a few musicians over to your house to make music all afternoon, invite all your friends and their friends over to your impromptu venue bringing something to drink and something to share, and some cash for the band, and there you have it.

All the logistics are the same as for any party, with live music. It helps if you have a good-sized living room, a nice yard in sunny weather, or a clubhouse at your condominium. It helps even more if the musicians have the outsized talent of Andy and Renee. This L.A. based duo have been performing together for twenty years, and make a west-coast tour every August up to Canada and back, stopping to do house concerts along the way. If you hear of one of their stops near you, by all means go.

I’ve seen them performing six times now, in bars, on stage, and best of all in the Living Rooms of mutual friends. Last night in the clubhouse at Pacific Point Condominiums was in its own unique way the best of them all (but I think I say that every time. . .) Not the best room, hard walls and floors with too much echo, but Andy and Renee made the best of it. The music—almost all original, always thoughtful and intriguing, and always performed at the highest level of profession and art—comes through wherever they play. They both sing, play keyboards and guitar, and write songs you aren’t likely to hear anywhere else.

Andy and Renee at Telluride

Andy and Renee started out following a printed setlist (a handy reference for those who really like a song, and want to buy the CD), but about the fourth song in abandoned the sequence, and went for the flow. Some of my favorites—”Murder on the Pier,” “14thof February,” “New Orleans I’m Coming Home”-— some new to me—“Insignificant Other, “ “Kids These Days” –performed in this intimate setting to just the few of us gathered, was on transitory moment of absolute purity, one to return to in memory, every time wondering how anything could be so beautiful.

Well, until they turned off the amps, gathered the chairs into a circle, and sang to us as friends not audience, and the evening turned from amazing to magical. Two guitars, two voices, eight or ten songs. Among the songs Lucinda Williams’ “Jackson,” my own favorite Andy and Renee song “Everything Disappears,” Renee’s unique take on “Sweet Home Chicago,” Andy’s powerful “The Night that I Left Town” with its extended guitar coda, an acoustic miracle that amazed even Andy this night out. All this, and the dozen or so of us on hand to share this moment.

Here’s a comment from one of our friends last night: “ Wowowowow! They rock! It was the absolute sweetest concert I’ve ever attended. So much talent and so much heart! I love them!! Just fabulous!!! Bravo!! What a way to start the weekend, and going forward I’ll be driving up and down 280 rocking out to their cds. . .”

So, take my advice. If you ever have the chance to catch these two on their west-coast house-concert tour, do it.  Until then, hover your icon over some of the song titles above for a preview.

Website:  http://www.andyandrenee.com/

Review by David Hirzel