Howling at the Moon
Riffs Acoustic Music owner Larry Hart said he wanted to hold concerts once a month that were a little different than the usual fare.
He wanted to feature local musicians, who not only played live music, but also added an element of education in their presentations.
"We essentially wanted them to hold a workshop and then play a concert," Hart told The Park Record. "That’s what the Full Moon Concert series is all about."
After three successful Full Moon Concerts, Hart has seen his vision become a reality.
Solo guitarist Randall Williams did a workshop on the use of a partial capo, a clamp used on guitars to change the strings’ register.
Acoustic singer/songwriter Cosy Sheridan and her partner T.J. Ritchie held a songwriting workshop and played a sold-out show and folk singer/songwriter Tom Prosada Rao and his wife Cary, did a workshop on songwriting as well.
There was only one weather-related glitch.
"(Fingerstyle) guitarist Chris Proctor had a workshop planned about alternate tunings, but it got snowed out," Hart said. "The concert, however, went on as planned."
Since then, Riffs has featured Motherlode, Lash LaRue, Red Desert Ramblers and Small House Strings and DeTour Utah.
In addition, Riffs has hosted three benefit concerts as well.
"They benefited The Peace House, Recycle Utah and Habitat for Humanity, he said. "Each of the concerts has been a success. I don’t mean from a financial standpoint, but there’s a vibe in here that the bands and the audiences love. It’s a combination of being a small venue and the fact that people are coming in to sit down and listen to the music.
"We’ve got 750 square feet of space, and we can seat up to 49 people, without breaking the fire code," he said.
Next on the Full Moon Concert list is Mary Beth Maziarz who will play Tuesday, May 17.
"Larry and I talked several months ago when he was putting together this plan for Riffs and I was so excited, because we need a listening-room environment that is respectful for the artists and the audience," Maziarz said. "Although we have a lot of great venues in Park City, we don’t have a listening-room venue."
Maziarz, who has not only written music for TV and film, but is also an accomplished writer, said her Full Moon performance will feature educational tips culled from her book "Kick-Ass Creativity: An Energy Makeover for Artists, Explorers and Creative Professionals," which was released a year ago.
The book is a guide to help creative types overcome their challenges and reach their goals.
"The book has been a bigger presence in my creative life than music for the past year," Maziarz said. "So I thought it would be cool to integrate some of the work from the book into the show, so that people who know me as a musician will also have an opportunity to work on creativity with me."
The creative exercises will be a prelude to the girls songwriter workshops that Maziarz will hold in June.
"We’ll do some writing exercises and other things during the Full Moon Concert that will be integrated within the performance, so there will not be a separate writing session and concert," she said. "They will be combined into one."
"The thought of a full moon has always brought out the best in people on a lot of different levels," Hart said. "It’s an excuse for musicians to hoot and holler and kind of let it loose. So when we were planning the concerts, the term ‘Full Moon’ seemed like a catchy phrase. Plus, it gives people a way to look forward to the next show. If someone asks when we’re going to have another show, I always say, look for the full moon."
The Full Moon Concert series will feature Mary Beth Maziarz on Tuesday, May 17, at Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr. Food will be served at 6 p.m. and the music will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Call (435) 647-1940 or visit http://www.riffspc.com for information and tickets. Audience members of age may BYOB.
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