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    Photos by Terrence Humphrey

    Once a month, at the corner of Zane Street and Garvin Place, you can wander into the Old Louisville home of Dusty Segretto and join a crowd for a night of food and music. 

    It started in 2014, when a Michigan-based folk rock group called Frontier Ruckus put out a call to Louisville residents for a place to host them while on their “living-room tour.” The poster from the March 13, 2014, show still hangs in Segretto’s bathroom. “I’d never heard of having music in a living room before, but said, ‘I’ll check it out and see what happens,’” he says. 

    The roster of performers at the Living Room Series, as it’s now known, has grown into the dozens since Frontier Ruckus in 2014. In October, Louisville group Maiden Radio packed the house. A couple weeks later, Nashville artists Joanna Barbera and Adam Faucett played indie folk and soul. Hip-hop, heavy rock and country music have all made their way through. The adjoining living room and dining room turned out to be the ideal space, with high ceilings, a large fireplace, cozy couches and string lights creating a warm and intimate atmosphere. During a show, you’re essentially face-to-face with the artists.

    Segretto, who is 34 and works for healthcare consultant ZirMed, makes dinner for everybody in attendance. “I try to find things I can cook for large groups,” he says. It’s easier to make a new pot of pasta or replenish the baked-potato bar than, say, fry chicken to-order. Some shows are ticketed, usually for about $10, and other times attendees are encouraged to donate to the band. Capacity is about 60. (Segretto pays for the food out of his own pocket; all money from tickets or donations goes to the musicians.) The upstairs room he converted into a “critical listening” space for his record collection becomes a green room on show nights. When the show’s over, many of the touring, out-of-town musicians will crash in the guestroom for the night. A meal, no hotel. “It’s a pretty easy sell,” Segretto says. “People have asked me why I do this. It’s almost like a social experiment. People treat your home differently than a venue. You go from strangers to community.”

    For the Barbera/Faucett show in early November, there were five kinds of taco filling, from pork and pineapple to a vegetarian mix. “Taco night is the best night,” a guest said as he put a tortilla on his plate. From the other room, a 10-minute warning sounded for Barbera to take her place at the front of the living room.

    The next show at the Living Room Series will be on January 21st, a listening party for Kaleidico's new album.

    This originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here. To find your very own copy of Louisville Magazine, click here. 

    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

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