The Village.

Issue 038 // March 2019

When Roasting Room started to become what it is today, my stock answer to anyone that asked how it was possible that we could afford to bring bigger artists into Bluffton was "People enjoy good music."

While that may be true, there's something below the surface that has become more apparent.  People yearn to experience something (sport, theatre, music) together in a group setting.  In other words, the reason Roasting Room works is when you come here more than once, you begin to feel the undercurrent of "community" flowing through the room.  The best part about this community is that it's not confined to those that live in Bluffton, or even in the state of South Carolina.

Musicians are a subset of the population that is particularly tuned into this phenomena.  Numerous quotes from those that have graced the stage all revolve around the idea that something special happened when they were here.  Most can't completely articulate it, but I think what they felt was a bond to the greater community that has been established here, and they immediately want to come back and catch the feeling again.

And who is responsible for this vibrant community?  You.  It's a four-walled building otherwise.  The energy in the room the night of a show comes directly as a result of your presence.  

I'm here to tell you that it's electric.

In Other News...Comedy.

Issue 037 // March 2019

I know what you're going to say, and I agree.  It's been a LONG time coming.

The Savannah group Front Porch Improv (their Savannah For Morons trolly show is a huge hit) has approached us and we gladly accepted their offer to perform May 1.  We've announced the show last week, and boy are we excited about the future with them and other comedy offerings.

Again, it's been a long time coming, but the wait will be worth it.

Like A Lion.

Issue 036 // March 2019

We're bounding into March with a full head of steam and I, for one, am pretty doggone excited about the March schedule.  I think we have a solid blend of talent, from virtuoso instrumentalists (William Tyler on March 6) to full on international blues rock (Harper and Midwest Kind on March 16th), not to mention legendary local(ish) Danielle Howle band coming in this weekend and some incredibly gifted and celebrated songwriters sprinkled throughout the month.

There are a few precious lambs this March as well, with Rebecca Loebe and Farewell Angelina both set to put on some delicate, intricate performances, all the while putting their rock-solid vocals on display for all to hear.

I'm glad to be here, now.  I'm also glad you're along for the ride.

Moving Picture.

Issue 035 // February 2019

Joe Pug graced our stage last weekend, and he put on a fabulous performance.  I'm glad I brought my cameras along, because he is quite photogenic as well.  Have a look for yourself:

Joe Pug - Not So Sure
Joe Pug - The Great Despiser

The Roasting Room is moving toward more of this: setting up some cameras and capturing great performances to share.  It's harder than it looks, but boy will it be worth it.

Stay Tuned.

It WAS A Good Idea.

Issue 034 // February 2019

Doggone it, anyway.  I really thought a food truck was going to be a good solution to what we were lacking but we've had to shutter the idea.  Back to the drawing board, folks.

I won't let it get me down, though.  I'm thinking instead we can just continue focusing on producing the best live music in the Southeast.  Which reminds me - We're going to be announcing the April Schedule this Friday February 1.  If you're a part of the Patron Program (if you're not, there's a handy link below), you'll be getting first dibs at all the announced shows before the general public.

Without giving too much away, I'll go ahead and say that April's STACKED with talent, including some local favorites.  

Yes indeed-y, friends.  The ole' Roasting Room is firing on all cylinders.  See you up here.

In Other News...Food.

Issue 033 // January 2019

We finally did it.  It took 3 years, but we may have something here.  The man behind the Murican Border food truck, Alex Schmidt, approached us with a question: "Are your patrons hungry for something new, and do your ticket holders like REALLY good tacos?"  My answer was a simple "You bet".

This past weekend he opened his truck to ticket holders. I had his Japanese version "Domo Ari Taco" and it was sublime.  Oh, and their homemade chips are hinted with lime.  Whoa Nelly were they good.  For those looking for a quick dinner that is freshly prepared and well thought-out, get up here a little earlier and put your order in for some gourmet tacos.  The best part of the whole deal is that he's only open to Roasting Room ticket holders, so the line won't be long.

The only caveat is this is a trial period for January (maybe February).  If you're in favor of having a solid food option at the Roasting Room, support it.  You won't be disappointed.

I loved it.  I think you'll love it, too.

On another food note, The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra is presenting their popular Soundbites series here this Saturday with 10 String Symphony, an incredible Roasting Room alumnus.  The big draw for these shows is food and drink vouchers provided for each ticket holder in addition to world-class music.  This is the total package, and one heckuva way to spend a Saturday evening.  

Get your weekend arrangements in place.  It's gonna be a good one.

...And A Happy New Year.

Issue 032 // January 2019

After EVEN MORE updates to the sound system (A big thank you to Isaac Smith, our lead engineer), we're ready to ring in 2019 with a full slate of talent.  From Blues to Alt. Rock, Straight-edge bluegrass to jangly country, we've got our bases covered.

2019 is looking merry and bright.  2019 is looking to be a ground-breaking year for music production.  2019 is poised to be our best yet.  In 2019, we welcome you up here with open arms.

Happy New Year!.


Issue 031 // December 2018

Now that we've (mostly) caught our breath from a wild and successful 2018, we're gearing up for a ground-breaking 2019. New genres will be explored, big names will grace the Roasting Room stage, and even more  community outreach are all slated to take place.  

As always, we thank you for your continued support, and cannot wait to share with you all the awe-inspiring moments that 2019 will surely bring.

Happy Holidays.

...The More They Stay The Same.

Issue 030 // December 2018

This past weekend, we hosted always-incredible Angie Aparo and two female guest artists (Bonnie Bishop & McKenzie Eddy) that just floored us all.  Though the room layout changed, attendees were ready to be amazed by Angie's use of dynamics and other-worldly vocal control.  Though we've now begun our third year of existence and have hosted hundreds of shows, the same feelings creep up in me when the lights go down and the stage is lit; the feelings of anticipation and excitement.

I've heard from many in attendance that the new room layout feels like a church because our benches resemble rowed pews.  I agree.  The power of shared experience is another attribute it shares with a church.  We all need to feel the sense that we're not alone, and are in communion with like-minded individuals.  Music brings people together in the purest sense.  

We're looking forward to bringing you together with other like-minded individuals.  See you up here.


Issue 029 // November 2018

From all of us here at the Roasting Room, thank you.  Thank you for trusting us with your time.  Thank you for trusting us with your ears.  Thank you for trusting our musical decisions.  With the upcoming changes* to the room in mind, thank you in advance for trusting that we've got you in mind as these changes take place.**

Thank you for your trust in us.  We work tirelessly to not take it for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

The Big One(s).

Issue 028 // November 2018

We've been mum long enough.  Today is the day.  We're turning three, and we've grown up a bit.  

Firstly, we're having a two-night Anniversary featuring the one and only Angie Aparo, and he's bringing along a special guest each night.  These special guests are well-known and award-winning.  Needless to say, we're jazzed.

Secondly, we're changing our seating arrangement to accommodate a few more people, as well as get some more aisles in the room.  After years of seeing folks struggle to get out of their chair once they sit down, we've finally said "Enough!".  Look for that seating change to be revealed on our 3rd Anniversary.

This is the big one, folks.  We're growing up, and we're so glad to be growing up right along side you all.


Issue 027 // October 2018

The last Roast email posited the idea of a standing room only experience, and y'all responded passionately!  Feedback makes our world go 'round, and I'm thrilled that people like you care about their experience.  

• In the short term, there may be a standing room only show or two.
• We're redesigning the room layout for a number of reasons.  Safety is one of those reasons.  More to come!
• We're working with the right people to do the right things for you, and everything we do up here is a direct result of your input and your experience.  There is no reason to do what we do otherwise.
• 2019 is going to be fantastic.

We've taken up this mantle of responsibility because music shapes community, and we're a part of this community.  Without waxing poetic, it's essential and we're willing to work to maintain it.

Thank you for supporting us thus far, and be prepared for some fresh experiences in the ole' Roasting Room in the coming months.


Issue 026 // October 2018

Roasting Room-ers,

It's time to make those 2019 music decisions!  We love taking and fulfilling requests.  Here are a few points to consider:

1) As much as I want to shoot for the moon, Beyonce and Paul McCartney are not coming.  In other words, request bands that may actually make the trip.

2) I've been kicking around the idea of more standing room only shows, which opens up our ability to get bigger bands.  If you're an adamant sitter and are totally against a standing room only show, let me know.

3) Is there a genre that we haven't showcased that you'd support?

4) Keep your requests limited to a Top 5.

More magic will be made in 2019.  Let's make it happen together!


Issue 025 // September 2018

There is something big going on here, folks.  I can feel it.  There's a certain excitement bubbling just beneath the surface.  Ideas are flowing and moves are being made.  This town is special.

We (Roasting Room Productions) recently went on a "field trip" to test a new avenue of production, and friends I'm here to say you're in for some great opportunities.  I'll share more when I have it available.

Keep this in mind: The Roasting Room is just a room.  Without good people filling it, it's an acoustically-tuned empty space.  There are other rooms, even in your own community, that can be transformed into something much more meaningful and even magical with a little effort.

Special Announcement.

Issue 024 // September 2018

This weekend's shows have been postponed due to travel restrictions of this weekend's artists.

The current plan is to reschedule Time Sawyer in November (date TBD) and Gabe Dixon sometime later in 2018 (date TBD).  All tickets purchased for this weekend's shows will be redeemed for the rescheduled dates without issue.  If any ticket holder would like a refund after the new dates are announced, a full refund will be given.  

Sonic Experiences.

Issue 023 // September 2018

Did you feel it?  That slight cool on the breeze this past week?  Oh baby, Fall is on it's way.

I'm dreaming of the end to this humidity-gripped existence we're currently swimming in, and ready to turn the corner into the crispy fall season up here at the ole' Roasting Room.  What we have in store for you wonderful people is nothing short of glorious.  Legends such as Gabe Dixon, Angie Aparo, Kim Richey, Leigh Nash, & Jim Lauderdale; up-and-coming favorites Time Sawyer as well as Hank, Pattie & The Current; and a fistful of local artists releasing new projects will all happen in the next 2 months.  Glorious sonic experiences await!

We've also been busy thinking about making your sonic experience EVEN BETTER, so we're completely redoing our sound system, and will be rolling out the changes in the next couple of weeks.  The best sounding room in the area is about to move into the next level of awesome, with better coverage and fewer dead spots.  Oh yes, we're always working toward the goal of being the absolute best little listening room in the Southeast.  

And you're the reason why.  Thank you for constantly driving us forward.


Issue 022 // August 2018

Enunciation, in regards to musical performance, can be a tedious enterprise.

Singing along to Elton John in the backseat of the family woody station wagon at the top of one's lungs "Hold me closer Tony Danza!" or, better yet, during the chorus of Rocketman - "Turning up his juice and pheromones" can make a song even more relatable and "owned" by those that misunderstand the lyrics. It's a blast, really.  Way more fun than trying to figure out how to say "Burning out his fuse up here alone".

For the 90's kids, Pearl Jam is a constant offender.  In fact, I dare you to figure out the lyrics to "Yellow Ledbetter".  YouTube has tried hilariously to figure them out.  I urge you to look it up.  "Potato Wave" is a classic.

Sure, it can get messy when our intentions aren't clear.  Misunderstanding is a real hindrance to progress in society.  Yet, in an artistic sense, where's the fun in perfection?  Slurring words is an art form in itself.  Jim Morrison knew a thing or two, though I'm not sure he could have enunciated if he tried.  RIP.

Anyway, I'll still sing "What a Fool Believes" wrong every time. 

Fresh Paint.

Issue 021 // August 2018

Nothing feels quite as surprisingly invigorating as a fresh coat of paint.  

It almost seems too simple; change the color of your walls and you can live in a different frame of mind.  Around casa de la Ross this week we're doing exactly that, and my does it get the ole' wheels turning.  Until this point, we've lived in a mostly beige world.  No longer!

Do you find yourself listening to the same type/genre of music?  Do you automatically seek out bands that are directly adjacent to those you already know and love?  Here's my polite invitation to put on some fresh tracks and try out a new artist or two outside of your preferred genre.  You don't have to go with bold changes like going from chamber pop to thrash metal, but you can subtly get into other forms.

You never know.  You just might like it.

What I Talk About

When I Talk About Music.

Issue 020 // July 2018

Today, I'd like to share a bit of insight with you, dear reader.

When faced with the subjectivity that is performance art, there is a handy shortcut I use to determine which acts rise above the rest.  I use four metrics (though you could break them down into many more if you're feeling precise).  The following metrics define what is music, to me: 
Tone.  Dynamics.  Rhythm.  Atmosphere.  

Picture four dials.  Each dial has one of these four words written below them.  From one (bad) to ten (perfect), where would you point each dial to define what you're hearing, based solely on these four metrics?  If all the dials are placed at 7 and above, they get into the Roasting Room.  Below that, they do not.  Is this subjective and arbitrary?  Of course.  Does it work?  Yes.

I invite you to come hear for yourself, and bring your dials with you.

Mood and Music.

Issue 019 // July 2018

How do you respond to the question, "What do you like to listen to?"  To me, it's a loaded question.  The asker, if it's a stranger, may be wanting to know where you fall on the spectrum of music adoration.  If you say you listen to mainstream music, will the asker judge you for not digging deeper into the vast world of "underground" or "under-represented" music?  If you say you listen to certain period of music, will the listener judge you based on your nostalgia?  As a musician, I get asked this question quite a lot, and my stock answer is this: "Wherever my mood happens to be at a particular time."  

Mood and music, at least in my opinion, are inextricably linked.  I enjoy listening to music that reflects my mood, and feel, in some sense, that the music understands me like an old friend.  Furthermore, I can come closer to understand what the artist was going through as the piece was being written.  I'm not saying it's necessarily a cosmic connection, but nevertheless an important one for me.  Genres can broadly reflect mood.  For instance, bluegrass is mostly happy music, even when the lyrics are gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking.  Jazz is a powerful motivator to move, think deeply, and connect on a deeper level with others.  Country wants to tell a relatable story, bringing the song and the listener closer together.

July's music selections feature these genres, and will be upbeat and bright.  I can't think of a better description of a summertime mood than that.


Issue 018 // June 2018

To what extent to do trust the accuracy of your memories?  I'd like to think mine is a steel trap, but I couldn't be any further from the truth, according to major studies on the fallacy of memory.

Thinking back to details of "memorable" experiences, I find fault/lapses/time shifts in my recall.  Do you?  For instance, I DISTINCTLY remember getting lost at Sea World when I was about 6 years old.  But...Do I really?  

I mean, there's a photo of me eating ice cream in my Cubs hat on that day, so I was there. Without that photo priming my memory, though, I *probably* wouldn't remember the event.  At least, that's the conclusion to which researchers have come.  We need a primer to jumpstart our memories, and insodoing we create a narrative around that primer.  But, there's more to it than that.

Photos are decent primers, but music is by far a stronger primer, along with smell.  When I hear Field Division's "Faultlines", I immediately flash back to tiling the bathroom in 2015.  I'm standing in the tub, covered in grout.  When I hear Gabe Dixon's "All Will Be Well", I'm sitting at table F-43 in the Roasting Room with my son at my side, wondering what is going through his mind at his very first concert.  Then turning to my wife and smiling, knowing she's thinking the same thing.

Music, whether lyric or instrumental, is a jotting down of an artist's memory of a feeling, a melody, a turn of phrase.  We're in the memory-making business, and for that reason I'll always be involved.  Memories may be fallible, but they're all we have to cling to a place/time/feeling that we had.  A world without music is a world without my most vivid and cherished memories.  

I'm glad I don't have to worry about that.

Striations and All.

Issue 017 // June 2018

These are the days.  The ones that we've been looking forward to with great anticipation.  The days that we think of when we long for our childhood.  These are the days of legend.  Of course, I'm talking about watermelon season.  Sweet pink/red glory wrapped in a striped green shell.  The greener the better, then the redder the better.  I can hear it all now.....

"Look for the striations.  Are they dark green?  if they aren't in a good straight(ish) line, the melon won't be as sweet!"  "What color is the underbelly?  Yellow?"  "Knock on them a few times.  Does it really thud or is it a higher pitch?"  "Don't swallow the seeds!"  "Seedless-ness is next to Godliness."

The sounds of childhood.  Get me a knife and we'll just get to work on one, crooked striations and all.


Jordan, what does this have to do with music?  Watermelons, like artists, are judged first by their appearance  then by their music.  In fact, the premise of NBC's The Voice was built around the objectivity of the voice coming from behind the judges, who are in rotating chairs facing away from the performer.  It's the same reason orchestras and operas do blind auditions.  An artist's appearance and pedigree can be deceiving, so we here at the Roasting Room pay close attention to the quality of music coming from the artists.  If an artist looks good doing it, then bonus all around.  I'll leave that judgement up to you.

Happy watermelon season.

Taken For Granted.

Issue 016 // May 2018

Oh, how we take for granted the extraordinary things around us.  From our phones to our cars, we live in a world that is full of high quality goods.  Yet, sometimes they seem to let us down...
I'm speaking, of course, about Autocorrect.  The premise is astonishing: An algorithm can understand what you're trying to type, and will make a suggestion for you based on the best fit for the sentence the word in questions is being placed.  The idea is pure sorcery to anyone not living in the age of smartphones, but it still gets it wrong; hilariously in some instances.  We then blame it for it's blunder, and feel a sense of superiority over the machine.  Yet, that machine was built to extraordinary specs that has taken countless software engineers their entire careers to perfect.
I've stumbled upon a great podcast*, and recently listened to an interview with Seth Godin about this very topic.  How do we define excellence in an age of high quality manufacturing?  How can something that is, at its core, trivial seem almost magical when put into the right context?  Case in point: When someone cares enough to create a thing/item/good/art/etc for someone else, it transcends the spec by which it's measured and becomes truly excellent.  It explains why family cooking tastes better, or your favorite artist sounds better.  Love.  Caring.  Shared Meaning.  In a highly technological age, the simple acts of humanity become truly excellent because only humans can care and love.  I firmly believe listening to live music is a form of seeking out humanity in all its glory, flaws, highs, lows, and in-betweens.

We've got the live music part covered.

*The Moment with Brian Koppelman.  Highly recommended.


Issue 015 // May 2018

For those wondering what has been going on at Roasting Room HQ in the last 7 days, I can tell you it's been MADNESS!  Well, that's a bit of hyperbole.

I've been working on pre-show videos, and thanks to the great folks at AIC ( who providing us with a 4K projector, automatic dropdown screen, and an Elon app-based workflow, I'm finally able to present videos in a way that works for our room.

Upon launching our pre-show videos this past Thursday, I was overwhelmed with both anxiety and excitement.  I think it's the feeling that overcomes those that know that they're stepping into a new phase of professional development (well, that's a bit overarching, but stay with me).  I can see the usefulness of the stage projector for not only pre-show videos, but for groups needing multimedia for a meeting, an event that would like to feature a slideshow, or someone that would like to screen a movie for their friends.

Upon your next visit, enjoy the video offerings prior to the show, and let me know what you'd like to see for the next set of videos.  It's fun to try new things (particularly video), and if you've got an idea, I'm all ears.

Coming In For A Landing.

Issue 014 // April 2018

Did you know that the Roasting Room has other functions beside offering fantastic music?  Hard to believe, I know.  The venue owners, Josh & Kali Cooke, use the space for catered parties and business gatherings when there is no scheduled music events.  To showcase the other happenings, I'm considering a slight website redesign.

Have a look at our proposed landing page:

It's nothing crazy, but I think will help steer people in the right direction based on their needs/use for our room.

If you love it, great.  If you hate it, tell me why.  We're all in this one together!

A Noble Pursuit.

Issue 013 // April 2018

I think it's a noble pursuit to support a touring artist by allowing them a place to perform their music to an attentive and caring group of individuals.  That noble cause has propelled me forward through the times that I've said "Enough!  I can't look at another spreadsheet/email/poster design/booking inquiry!"  The artists have been incredibly gracious after a Roasting Room show, and I have you to thank for that.

Yet there are other types of noble pursuits, and that brings me to the point of this particular email: What we love to do here more than host music is to host charity events that involve music.  We've done a few in the past, and it's something that I'd like to continue to do more often.  There's no better feeling than knowing that a segment of the community is made better through our contribution.

Here's your challenge - If you know of/represent/can make a case for a noble pursuit (charity), I'm all ears.  We won't do anything halfway, mind you.  When we do a charity event, its an EVENT.  If we believe it in, we'll get behind it 100%.

Let's get some on the books before 2018 gets away from us all.

Out On A Limb.

Issue 012 // March 2018

Oh April, you have potential.

I planned this particular month in a way that I haven't normally planned in a 30 day window.  I went out on a limb this time around.  You see, I typically like to spread the awesome out a bit so that you fine listeners have time to catch your breath.  Not this time around.  Oh no.  April is STACKED.

Here's a breakdown: First, you get an award-winning author (Sylvie Simmons) on April 5, followed by a world-renowned Blues band (Slam Allen) April 6, then the winner of Australia's Got Talent (Joe Robinson) April 7, A platinum selling artist (Dan Layus of Augustana) April 13, A Beck & Avett Brothers influencer (Paleface) April 14, A headlined-with-Toby-Keith-&-Shania-Twain country artist (John Brannen) April 21, A Songwriter's songwriter (Jeff Black) April 27, and a TV Celebrity/Songwriter (Hayley Orrantia) April 28. 

I mean, what was I thinking?

I think we should see how much fun we can have in 30 days listening to incredible acts.

All Yours.

Issue 011 // March 2018


How would you describe the Roasting Room to a random person on the street?  How would you sum up what it is we do here in 5 words or less?  My version:

Community-owned Listening Room.

We exist to allow musicians a voice, and we thrive on the support of the community around us.  YOU are that community.  Yes, you.  Not some unknowable entity or group of "others"; You.  The Mikes and Steves and Carols and Lories.  This place is your place.  You have ownership in it, whether you know it or not.  How?  Well, you vote with your attendance.  You make decisions for me based on your wants.  I'm here to catch those wants and put them on the stage.  So far so good, I'd say!

Keep those wants coming.  We're in the midst of a truly amazing year.


Issue 010 // February 2018

I'd love to have a long-winded and clever thing to say to all you beautiful music-lovers, but all I can think to write at the moment is WHOA.  What a difference a year makes.

On Feb 16, 2017, we brought in a nationally-touring act on a Thursday and 7 people came.  On Feb 19, 2018, we brought in a nationally touring act on a MONDAY and it sold out.  Something is happening, and I'm psyched.

Unrelated, but still...I received quite a bit of artist requests following the previous Roast email, and I can happily say that a couple of bands that were requested are under contract.  Crowdsourcing is fun!  Keep the requests coming.  You just never know who may be traveling down I-95 looking for a place to play.

One more thing;  I have a small, somewhat-secret favor.  If you're interested, scroll down to the very bottom of this email (just below Morgan Wade) for a link to this somewhat-secret favor.

2018 rules so far, all thanks to you.  

More...Or Less.

Issue 009 // February 2018

I've not been formally trained in business or marketing.  It's not that I didn't want to know more about how businesses worked or how I could get an edge in the world of entrepreneurship, it's just that I didn't know any better.   Instead, I hold a degree in social psychology.  Over the years, it hasn't been lost on me how similar and interchangeable these two fields can be; after all, the focus of both is the behavior of humans.

We want more.  What's the harm in it?  I mean, if something is buy one get one free, you pick up two, right?  How can businesses even stay afloat when they give their products away!?  Yet, at the same time we're willing to drop extraordinary amounts of money on other activities.  Time for a meta Roasting Room
tie in...

I'm no stranger to a good deal, yet I'm willing to drive 4 hours and spend $135 on a ticket to see a band that I could just watch on YouTube.  Why in the world would I do such a ridiculous thing?  Why, the value of shared and sacred space, of course.  The experience, the ritual, the visceral experience of seeing a band react to one another while being in the same room is such a powerful feeling to a music fan, and we can tell them how great we think they were by making noises at any appropriate time!

I have a feeling that there are many receiving this particular newsletter that understand exactly what I'm saying.  In fact, YOU may be among them.  Who's a long-shot artist that you'd be willing to shell out to see at your favorite small venue with a big heart?

I'm all ears, and I'm not afraid to shoot for the moon.  More or less.

Branching out.

Issue 008 // Januray 2018

We all like to try new things; A new pair of socks, a new movie, a new recipe. Sometimes, new things bring challenges to our everyday life;  A new houseguest,  a new boss, a new diagnosis.  We at the Roasting Room are in a constant state of thinking of new things.  Different things.  Amazing things.

Recently, we've been approached about a new type of entertainment offering.  We're very excited to tell you all about it...but not just yet.  Look for an announcement here soon.

Sure, we love music and feel we put on a great show.  We also know there are entire worlds or performance art out there that we haven't touched.  Yet.

We're now in the exciting process of branching out.  

You have a front-row seat.

Band Names Are Crucial...Sort of.

Issue 007 // January 2018

"Have you heard of this band?" A friend of mine begins our conversation.  "They're called We Were Promised Jetpacks.  You'll love them."  ...We Were Promised Jetpacks?!  What an amazingly cast-off name.  And no, I've not heard of them*.

I'll admit, it's a fun name.  The fact that I'm writing to you about them makes it impactful.  Imagery began swirling in my mind of a group of futurist emo punks dancing rather deliberately in arthouse space helmets.

What does a band name matter these days, anyway?  As you look through the January and February schedule, you'll no doubt see a group of names you've not heard before.  However, there is one that stands out as a "good" band name: Fireside Collective.

Fireside Collective is a new-grass band, and is a perfect example of a band naming themselves as closely to their sound as possible.  Their music fits right along side a campfire.  It's a newer form of bluegrass fusion, but the feel remains intact.  It should go without saying that that particular show will be special.

Anyway, band names can be hard to come up with and still be "cool" and "hip" and "meaningful", but in some cases they're an afterthought that turns into a mistake.  Just ask the Goo Goo Dolls.

2 out of 10

Issue 006 // December 2017

"I'd like our band to play at the Roasting Room."  begins the email I received on New Year's Eve.  The band's agent sent me links to their music, bio, pictures, videos, and tour schedule in the hope that I'll accept the band and send them an offer sheet.  The choice is mine alone.  Do I accept?  Will the people of Bluffton enjoy the band?  Is the band marketable to our demographic?  For me, this process is a balance between the music and the marketability of an act.  From the musician's perspective, this process can be VERY subjective and I don't take it lightly.

Just like a designer meticulously scraping clay from the full-sized model car to make the form just right, I'm trimming the master schedule to make sure your 2018 Roasting Room listening experience is the absolute best.  It's amazing how many bands have asked to play at the Roasting Room, and I find myself having to accept 2 out of 10 for schedule sake.  In other words, the bands on stage have been thought about, mulled over, crosschecked, matched up, and packaged delicately for your audial consumption.

I say all this to offer you a challenge.  As an audience member at the Roasting Room, you know the room and the feel.  Do you have a favorite act that you'd just love to see up here (within reason)?  Let me know!

2017 was fun, and we learned a few things.  Sure, it had its downs, but overall the music was fantastic.  2018 will be amazing.  Stay tuned.

Our Claus O'Meter.

Issue 005 // December 2017

The movie Elf has become quite the classic in our household.  It's light, ridiculous, and entirely human.  One plot point in particular struck me recently, and I feel the need to unpack its meaning (and power).

First, a quick synopsis.  Spoilers ahead for those haven't seen this particular classic.  For those that have, you may skip the next paragraph.

Toward the end of the movie, Santa reveals that he had to install a rocket booster in his sleigh. His sleigh used to fly on belief only, but his Claus O'Meter (an instrument that measures belief) wasn't as full as it used to be because people's belief in him has been waning in recent years.  His sleigh couldn't properly fly without some outside help.  Yet, when everyone began to spread Christmas cheer by singing along to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", his Claus O'Meter filled to the brim and away he went without his rocket booster.

Who cares, right?  It's just a kid show, right?  It's deeper.  It showed me that belief is all you need to make any idea fly.  I'm sure you've seen the inspirational quote "She believe she could, so she did."  The same idea applies here, and let me go a step further and apply it to the Roasting Room community of which you are a part.  You, as a supporter of the arts by showing up to a live event, demonstrate a belief that music is important to you and it's survival is crucial part to your overall well-being.  Your belief allows us to fly, in a sense.  We see a full room of believers, and we get a sense of duty to continue providing you with high quality artistic expression.

In other words, you fill our Claus O'Meter through your belief in our mission, and we can fly.  Thank you for allowing us the opportunity.  Happy Holidays.

'Tis The Season.

Issue 004 // December 2017

We're working toward having a wonderful Christmas time, thanks to your friendship and generosity.  Maybe you've noticed, but we've been selling out a string of shows recently.  While I'd like to think it's because we're awesome, I know that it's indeed YOU who are awesome.  Instead of staying in to watch College Football or Shark Tank, you decide instead to climb the stairs and take in a concert.  You rock.

Know what also rocks?  Merchandise.  More specifically, Roasting Room-branded merchandise.  That's right friends, we just got in a box of comfy t-shirts, a (small) box of art books, and some lovely coffee mugs and koozies to make your season bright.  How does one procure such items?  In person at a show of course.  The only item we sell specifically on our site is the art book ( and the rest is in-store only.  So, the next time you find yourself at the front door ticket stand, ask about our tasty merch offerings.  Chances are there is someone on your shopping list that could use a t-shirt or coffee mug emblazoned with their favorite venue's logo.  Just maybe.

Giving Thanks to the Real Rock Stars.

Issue 003 // November 2017

Thank you.  Thank you to the listener.  Thank you the ones that took a chance on a hidden little room above a coffee shop.  Thank you to the artists that have come from far and near to bring their stories and talents to our little room. Thank you to the spouses that roll their eyes when we have to head out the door on another Friday or Saturday night and produce a show that may or may not break even, but still show us the same love and affection that they would have if we would've just stayed home.  Thank you to the couple on a date night that could have picked anywhere in this great little town to spend an evening and chose to spend it with us in our little corner of music heaven.  Thank you to the business partners that have chosen to support us through the times that we didn't have a clue what we were doing (spoiler alert: we still don't!).

Above all, we thank you for showing up and putting a smile on the face of a stranger.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Making our Mark.

Issue 002 // November 2017

A handprint.  A cave drawing.  A swoosh.  How is it that a seemingly innocuous image can immediately convey ambition, focus, belonging, and personality?  

We don't know either, but our friend Trevor Harden of Harden Creative knows a thing or two about logo creation.  He was tasked with designing the Roasting Room's first real attempt at a logo.  Personally, I think he nailed it.

Why does this matter to you?  Well, we've been thinking...

It's been almost two years since we've opened, and we haven't yet emblazoned anything with a logo.  Not even a sticker!  The time has come, my friends.  You see, we're aware of the holiday season coming into focus for some of you (more than others), and we also know that we'd better get some tasty merchandise out before Big Mouth Billy Bass or the dancing saxophone Santa Claus gets chosen instead for uncle Stu.  If only we had some way to get our fresh logo on some sweet gear, and allow for people to get one-of-a-kind experiences from some of the artists we're hosting the near future.

Enter: The Roasting Room Patronage Program

You all have supported us way more than we could have originally imagined (cliché, but true).  We'd like to offer some of our biggest fans (and fair-weather casual fans) the opportunity to get even more out of a Roasting Room show experience.  Follow the link above (or click here) to dive into the details.  

Is it the ultimate gift for the guy (or gal) who has it all?  You betcha.  If you want to make your significant other an official Roasting Room Patron and keep it a secret for the holidays, simply let us know in the comments section and we'll take it from there.

You see, we love providing world-class entertainment for the town of Bluffton.  We'd love to do it as often and as huge (HUGE!) as possible.  Becoming a patron puts us all on the right path.  We're focused on steering this ship toward a tomorrow of mind-blowing greatness.  Join us!


Let's begin the beginning.

Issue 001 // October 2017

As humans, we are in a constant state of re-invention.  We long to be the best version of ourselves, all the while knowing that version is just out of reach.  It drives us forward; molding and shaping our thoughts, actions, and interactions with others and the world around us.

We here at the Roasting Room share this sentiment.  We want to be the best; to provide the best experience to you at the best price and with the best intentions.  We may fall short in one or all of those areas from time to time, but with each new experience we want to get closer to that perfect version of ourself.

In the weeks to come we'll be rolling out a new vision for the future of the Roasting Room, and if the early indications are correct you will be in for a serious treat.  It involves patronage, partnerships, and MERCH.

November is going to be a great month for music, and as we gear up for the holiday season, a great month for gift-planning.  Stay tuned.