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"Playing the Staircase" music series returns Friday

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | Views: 1766

"Playing the Staircase" music series returns Friday
HAMMOND---The Hammond Regional Arts Center is pleased to announce the next season of its original listening room series, "Playing the Staircase."

This exciting concept sees the Hammond Regional Arts Center transform into an intimate listening room for original, acoustic music designed to expand the Arts Center’s mission with the audio arts.

"Playing the Staircase" features local and regional musicians playing on the landing of the HRAC staircase and each session gives audiences an intimate listening room to enjoy original lyrics and music. Between the months of April-September, each session of “Playing the Staircase” will occur the last Friday of the month with musicians performing from 6-8 p.m.

The HRAC is pleased to announce the next round of scheduled performers for 2019: Ben Bell (April 26), Jesse Brooks (May 31), Paul Sanchez (June 28), Biscuithound (July 26), Heather Feierabend (August 30) and Joe Burns (September 27). Admission to each listening room is $5, and the entirety of the cover will go towards the musicians.
HRAC Executive Director Maureen Joyce is pleased to continue hosting nights of original music in Hammond and comments on the popular demand of the series.

“It's a fact; Hammond supports originality,” Joyce said. “I truly appreciated the fantastic attendance for local, original music. It was great to see such large crowds supporting local musicians, singers and songwriters. This season will bring new talent, and the gallery will transform once again into an intimate venue/listening room to provide a space for their artistic expression and creative voices.”

“We’re working hard to revitalize Hammond’s independent music scene one show at a time,” said HRAC Media Coordinator Tara Bennett. "Hammond has awesome talent and we don’t want to take for granted what we have here. There’s a need for a space like this that focuses on original music, and we would like to help fill that gap."

Unlike venues where bands play cover songs, “Playing the Staircase” showcases artists performing original tunes spanning a variety of styles such as 70’s indie vibes, acoustic R&B, Cajun folk, country Americana, blues, and mellow jazz. New attendees to Playing the Staircase will experience taking in an intimate show of some great songwriters singing their songs and telling stories. These events are B.Y.O.B., which HRAC encourages guests to patronize locally.

To have a taste of what "Playing the Staircase" will offer, visit the HRAC website at to listen to samples of music from the scheduled artists.

In music, Ben Bell is a man of much experience, some learning, and a deep devotion to the craft of folk singing, guitar playing, and songwriting. He aspires to be both a musician's musician and diggable to men and women of all ages. After years of exploring roots music, literature, philosophy, and the broken road of life, Bell has grown into himself and found a strong-yet-gentle approach to his music. He is finally becoming the type of songwriter, performer, and person he has aspired to be. A lot of vintage music, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, much classic country and button-down folk, part traditional jazz and skiffle, part indie-rock and 70's light rock, Beatles, Bob Dylan, and acoustic Neil Young, and largely inspired by the performance of that American Master, Willie Nelson, Bell can pick and croon to you while you either sip your lemonade on a sunny Sunday afternoon, or sip whisky with your loved one by firelight and, honestly, keep you entertained.

Jesse Brooks is a songwriter that has performed in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas for about 16 years. A native of Hammond, Brooks was raised with an eclectic background in music and started performing publicly and professionally in a punk band he started with his high school friends. Over the years, Brooks served as a songwriter for several bands while his skills matured in the craft. Once venturing on his own, Brooks began performing to wider audiences all over the Gulf Coast, and even a few showcases in New York City and Chicago. His songs now focus mainly on life in the South both past and present, and how it all ties together. Outside of music, Brooks is a freelance writer, having won six Louisiana Press Association Awards in 2016. 
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