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© 1997 / 2018
Russ & Julie's
House Concerts

(Links go to the performers' websites.)

Christie Lenée Saturday, June 16, 2018, 8pm -
Christie Lenée

Suggested Donation: $20 SOLD OUT!!
Sponsored by: Larry Laffer Fine Properties

Christie Lenée was recently awarded First Place in the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Championship. She is a captivating performer with a devoted following among both instrumental, folk and rock band audiences. Combining guitar virtuosity, lyrical storytelling and passion for positivity, she elevates crowds with blissful inspiration and a fire of musicality. Christie's unique guitar work and profound instrumental compositions are well described as 'Michael Hedges meets Joni Mitchell and Dave Matthews.' Her lyrics are consciously uplifting, powerful and stick in your head as soon as you hear them. With a menu of percussive and sonic effects, and larger than life sounding instruments, her solo shows are said to embody an entire universe of music. Christie's pieces have been showcased at the NAMM Show in Anaheim and Nashville, live on National Television and Radio, on stage with artists such as Tim Reynolds (guitarist for Dave Matthews Band), Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel, Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls and Stanley Jordan to name a few. Her most recent album "STAY" was one of three finalists for "Best CD of 2016" (Indie Acoustic Project Awards), including the song "Love Who You Are" nominated for a 2016 Posi Award in the category "Songs for Personal Transformation." We are thrilled to be hosting this show! SOLD OUT!!

Venice Saturday, July 21, 2018, 8pm -

Suggested Donation: $30 SOLD OUT!!
Sponsored by: John & Julie Zipperer

Venice is a band from Venice Beach, California that consists of two sets of brothers: Michael and Mark Lennon, and their cousins, Kipp and Pat Lennon. As a band, the Lennons have recorded and performed together since the 1980s. Their music is a reflection of many of their influences while growing up in the small, eclectic and culturally diverse beach town for which they are named. Their sound is at once familiar and fresh, their classic rock and folk influences apparent in their pop sensibilities. You might recognize some of Venice's influences, such as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, the Eagles or Sly & the Family Stone. Their hybrid of folk/rock/soul is relevant, alive and still growing, with many fans worldwide considering them the torchbearers of the Southern California sound. Their distinctive vocal sound and harmonies have allowed Venice and its members to perform and/or record with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, David Crosby, Stevie Nicks, Bon Jovi, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Cher, Don Henley, Elton John, Michael McDonald, Phil Collins, Ozzy Osborne, Billy Idol, America, Heart, and the list goes on. $30 per person. SOLD OUT!!

Phil Salazar and the Kinfolk Saturday, August 11, 2018, 8pm -
Phil Salazar and the Kinfolk

Suggested Donation: $20

Phil Salazar and the Kin Folk featuring Tom Corbett, Bill Knopf, Bill Flores and Twin Fiddler Charl Gastineau. This local A-list of players/friends have been playing together for 34 years. Phil Salazar - Fiddle champ, teacher of fiddle champs, recording and touring artist. Phil has recordings with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Jonathan McEuen, Kenny Loggins, Kate Wolf, Gilles Apap, John McEuen, Kathy Fink and The Acousticats. Tom Corbett - Guitar, mandolin, vocal. A Southern California A-list picker. The funniest guy on stage. 2011 Kerville New Folk Songwriter Finalist and a 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour and toured with John McEuen and Robin and Linda Williams and The Acousticats. Bill Knopf - Banjo, guitar, vocal. A Southern California A-list picker. He's played with almost everybody and has taught the rest. Charl Ann Gastineau - Phil's Twin Fiddle partner since 1985. Rick Borella - a Santa Barbara staple for 40 years playing bass, both recorded and toured with The Acousticats. Bill Flores - Dobra, guitar, accordion. He a is a 9th generation Ventura County resident. He is an A-lister around here. One the most sought after musicians in the Ventura Santa Barbara area. These folks have been playing music together for 34 years! They mix traditional music with rock, blues, country, jazz, Irish, pop and bluegrass, just to name a few. You'll hear vocals and harmony with lots of humor!

Bettman & Halpin Sunday, September 2, 2018, 3pm -
Stephanie Bettman & Luke Halpin

Suggested Donation: $20    Just added!!

Bettman & Halpin play joyful, original Folk/Americana. Their concerts combine high-energy upbeat bluegrass/roots inspired compositions, beautiful ballads with soaring vocals and heartfelt lyrics, and groovy feel-good songs that audiences will be singing in their heads for weeks thereafter. Interspersed between these songs and instrumentals, they tell stories. They have become as known for their storytelling and playful banter as well as for their hooky whole-hearted songwriting and instrumental wizardry. Bettman & Halpin have a well-earned reputation for hypnotizing performances filled with irresistible lyrics, transcendent harmonies and roof-raising instrumentals. Touring together since 2008, Bettman & Halpin have been recognized in various Regional and National competitions, including: Grand Prize Winners in the So. Cal. Live Acoustic Music Competition, Winners in Southern California's Topanga Banjo/Fiddle Contest, Most Wanted Artists at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and Music Connection's Top 25 New Music Critiques. It is hard to believe that it's been 9 years since Stephanie & Luke performed here at Russ & Julie's House Concerts and we are thrilled to have them back. We expect this show to sell out quickly so be sure to RSVP early! Special Sunday Matinée Show!

Sarah McQuaid Saturday, September 22, 2018, 8pm -
Sarah McQuaid

Suggested Donation: $20

Sarah McQuaid was born in Madrid to a Spanish father and an American mother. She was raised in Chicago and is now living in rural England. From the age of twelve she was embarking on tours of the US and Canada with the Chicago Children’s Choir. She moved to Ireland in 1994 and lived there for 13 years, working as a music journalist and magazine editor. In 2007, she re-released her 1997 debut solo album and launched her solo career with a performance on Irish national television as the musical guest on John Kelly's popular Friday evening arts show The View. "The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved," writes guitar legend Michael Chapman in his introduction to Sarah McQuaid's fifth solo album If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, which he offered to produce. Recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Northern Ireland, Sarah has also drawn critical praise for her voice (which has been variously likened to malt whiskey and melted chocolate) and her engaging rapport with audiences: "I've attended hundreds of concerts of all kinds, and her subtle mastery onstage launches her straight into my fave shows ever," wrote The Huffington Post. Sarah is currently on tour promoting her new album in the UK, Ireland, USA and continental Europe.

Tracy Grammer Sunday, October 21, 2018, 7pm -
Tracy Grammer

Suggested Donation: $20

Tracy Grammer is one of contemporary folk music's most beloved artists. Though she is widely renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin, and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer's stories, often described as "incantations," add a rare mixture of vulnerability, intimacy, and hard-won insight to Grammer's performances,. As one fan puts it, "With Tracy, it's never just about the music; it's a soul journey." Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the "postmodern, mythic American folk" duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, folk chart-topping albums featuring Carter's mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez's band members. Called "the new voice of modern folk music," the duo was clearly in its ascendancy when in July 2002, Carter suffered a fatal heart attack mid-tour. He was 49; Grammer, 34. Grammer is currently building a tour to celebrate the release of LOW TIDE, her first album of original songs. Co-produced with long-time touring partner Jim Henry, LOW TIDE was released January 19, 2108 on Grammer's own label, Tracy Grammer Music. We can't tell you how thrilled we are to be hosting a show for one of our favorite artists!

Rita Hosking Sunday, November 11, 2018, 7pm -
Rita Hosking with Sean Feder

Suggested Donation: $20

Rita Hosking's fierce and captivating country-folk voice sings of culture clash, dishes, forest fires, black holes, and hope. Her latest of six albums, the hero's-journey-themed “Frankie and the No-Go Road,” was praised by Maverick Magazine as having “more authenticity and integrity than you can shake a stick at.” With her stories and soul-stirring delivery, this “force of nature” (Fiddlefreak Folk Review) partners with Sean Feder on sparkling dobro and banjo to deliver what Acoustic Magazine calls “timeless, unhurried elegance.” Rita's style of country-folk has been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances praised with capturing the audience. Honors include winner of the 2008 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the 2009 Telluride Music Festival Troubadour Contest, and honors in the International Songwriting Contest and West Coast Songwriters' Association.

Some of our House Concerts fill up a couple of weeks in advance, so please RSVP early. All our House Concerts begin at 8:00 P.M. unless otherwise noted. A voluntary suggested donation of $20 per person to the musicians is requested. Remember, 100% of all contributions go directly to the performers!

For more information on Russ & Julie's House Concerts,
please contact Russ & Julie at:

To RSVP, and for directions, please email:

Please note: "Russ & Julie's House Concerts" is simply the name we choose to describe our private parties, in our private home. These parties are NOT a business nor are they a business related activity. They are strictly a hobby for us, and are simply gatherings of our friends and guests to enjoy live acoustic music, fellowship, food (a potluck dessert buffet) and fun. Our concert parties are officially free (or else it might be considered a business), although voluntary contributions (suggested donation of $20 per person) are accepted at the party on behalf of the artists. 100% of all contributions go directly to the performers. By invitation only.



Some of our House Concerts fill up a couple of weeks in advance, so please R.S.V.P. early.

All of our House Concerts begin at 8:00 P.M. and are held on Saturday evenings, unless otherwise noted. They generally end around 10:30 P.M.

A voluntary suggested donation of $20 per person to the musicians is requested. This is payable IN CASH at the door.

Remember, 100% of all contributions go directly to the performers!

Most of the musicians we host have CDs available for sale during the break and after the House Concert.

RSVP to: rsvp@

Please support independent musicians!