Stanstead House Concerts Network Tour

It is a lovely September day here in Nashville! I have to admit, I am very ready for fall (my favorite season). It has been a hot, hot summer down South... and I'm ready for the fall colors, weather, and crunchy leaves beneath my feet!

So, back in late July through the start of August (2016) - I experienced my first-ever house concert tour. This was a huge deal for me because I have never been on a tour dedicated to promoting and performing my music (I've always backed other artists on tour), and I have never performed in a true listening room environment. This tour was a game-changer! The ultimate experience of the new "concert culture." There is no going back! Hal Newman has created something truly remarkable and special. Stanstead House Concerts Network is leading the charge on a new and improved concert culture/concert experience. Being able to break bread and get to know your audience before the show is such a beautiful experience. Hal has successfully merged the world between artist and audience. Also, the man makes a mean cappuccino! From the moment we stepped into his beautiful home - he treated us like members of his family! Thank you to Hal for this beautiful opportunity... and a special shout-out to his beautiful wife (Dianne) and daughters (Sophie and Emma) for being excellent hosts. I truly cannot wait to come back! 

Here is a short video about our journey, set to "The Rain Barrel." 

Our journey begins here in Montréal, QC at the gorgeous Wiedemann-Pinkas house! Lenny and Heidi were such wonderful, gracious hosts... and were just a blast. I loved their energy, personalities, and warmth! Heidi was not afraid to sing loud and dance, dance, dance... I LOVED that. Next time I visit, I'm pulling her up to sing on "Whole Lotta Love." 

Here are a few shots before the show. 

Special thanks to Hal for grabbing a shot during our show! 

Here is a shot of Heidi, Lenny, Amanda, Pandel and Hal - after the show. 

After loading up the van with art, guitars, and merch - we followed Hal back to his home in Stanstead, QC.

When we arrived at Hal's beautiful home, we were greeted by lots of furry friends... and a comfy bed - so thankful! We woke up in the morning, walked downstairs, and Hal had already started setting up his living room for the show that evening. He immediately began making us cappuccinos (again, they were awesome)... and Dianne whipped us up some homemade breakfast (so good). Hal and Dianne also suggested that we try some "real" maple syrup. I'm afraid there is no going back after that! Yum! All of my road-warriors know how rare and beautiful all of this really is... so, to say we appreciated it is an understatement! 

Soundcheck before the show. Thanks for snapping a great candid shot, Hal! 

After soundcheck, Hal drove us around Stanstead to give us the official tour. It was awesome! 

The first site we visited was the Stanstead Granite Quarries. SO COOL!

The boys - Hal & Pandel 

Amanda & Hal 

One leg in Canada - one leg in the USA. Buddy Guy wrote something about this, right? Maybe not. 

This excites me! 

The Pan - puffin' out his chest. 

So... this happened. Awesome. 

"Pan finds the meaning of life." - Hal Newman

This is all I could think about during my walkabout at Stanstead STONEHENGE. HA! 

But seriously, it was awesome and beautiful. Check out some history on this magical place, CLICK HERE

I will shoot a music video here the next time I visit. That is a promise! 

Here are a few shows of our actual performance in Hal's living room. 

After another incredible show, and another great night's sleep (thanks, Hal) - we woke up, walked downstairs... and Hal already started packing our equipment for us (seriously, this man is a SAINT). So sweet! Before loading the van, we were treated to another beautiful breakfast by Dianne - and cappuccino by Hal! 

Off to St. Johnsbury, VT we go! 

The drive was absolutely beautiful. Here are a few shots from our travels. 

We arrived at the St. Johnsbury Comfort Inn, and I have to say... I've stayed in a lot of Comfort Inn's over the years, and this particular one was gorgeous! Not like ANY others I have ever stayed in. 

After a quick rest, we drove over to Catamount Arts to meet up with Owen, and start loading in/preparing for the show. 

A pretty awesome sign greeted us! 

The Catamount Arts building is quite extraordinary - a lot of history! CLICK HERE to learn more. 

I have to take a moment to say how great of an experience I had working with Owen Davie (he was my main contact for this particular show). Owen is so kind, professional, and quick to respond (which is rare - and I really appreciated it). He took great care of us, and had the stage set perfectly when we arrived! Thanks for everything, Owen! 

Here is a great picture of the room before the show. 

Pan eating some yummy vegan pizza.

Special thank you to Jody Fried for snapping a picture during our show. 

During intermission, I met Jody's daughter Eliza - and folks let me tell you... you all better keep an eye out for her! She is a guitarist too, and I cannot wait to see her play someday. 

Aftershow selfie with Pan.

Here are a few awesome comments about our shows taken from the SHCN website. 

"Wow! From rocking out to Amanda McCoy & Pandel Collaros channeling their inner Jimmy Page/Robert Plant for an incredible blow-out-the-jams spine-tingling acoustic cover of Led Zep's Whole Lotta Love, to getting to have out and share the experience with childhood friends.. the music.. wow! Incredible performance by a tight duo of guitarslinger blues/folk singer-songwriters - original tunes mixed with a few covers - and a new classic version of John the Revelator.. and a searing Deep South revisiting of The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down..." - #37 Montreal, QC July 29, 2016

"Wow! Amanda McCoy & Pandel Collaros treated us to another beautiful evening of music in our living room... with a couple of Neil Young covers added to the mix capping off a great night!" - #38 Stanstead, QC July 30, 2016

"Amanda McCoy and Pandel Collaros performed tonight in the Cabaret Room at the Catamount Arts Center and blew us all away!" - #39 St. Johnsbury, VT July 31, 2016

For more info - CLICK HERE

So to wrap it up, we had the best time. Thanks again to Hal Newman for making it happen - and for creating Stanstead House Concerts Network. Thank you to Lenny, Heidi, Hal, Dianne, and Catamount Arts for having us! 

Most importantly, a BIG thanks to every single person who came out to see the shows.

It was a pleasure meeting/hanging/getting to know you all! We cannot wait to come back and visit, and we hope you will join us again. 

Until then - my journey continues. 

- A