Ellis Paul - Kiva House Concert
Photo-A-Day #1528

Today Allison and I had a wonderful day. We went to Billerica, MA to attend a Kiva House Concert. Kiva House Concerts are pretty amazing. Tim and his family open their home to performers and a very small group of fans. They have done over 50 of these concerts.

Waiting for Ellis

Pulling up to the house we see that it is in a perfectly normal neighborhood, kids playing out on the uncluttered streets, well manicured lawns, an average everyday suburban home. Walking in we see Ellis and his manager, we say hello and “See you inside.” We head inside and meet Tim, his two dogs Jake and Jasper, beautiful black labs. Tim’s wife is upstairs with their two children in this cute split level home.

Ellis Paul

The basement playroom is a dream, there are headshots of all the performers who have been to the house including Antje Duvekot, Christopher Williams, Dido and Letters to Cleo. Ellis has been to the house a few times over the years. Also in the basement there are about 20+ folding chairs, a large leather couch, a bar with two stools and sound system that would be fine outside but very imposing inside. We sat in the second row but decided to move to the front for more room. And when I say the front row I mean I could reach out and touch the keyboard. We were no more than four feet from Ellis at any given time.

Ellis Paul

A Kiva House Concert is unlike any concert you have ever been to. It is an intimate afternoon of incredible music and interesting people. Prior to the start of the concert we learned a great way to make hummus from scratch and various other things. Some people in the room had been at Ellis’ first paid gig, so we are talking longtime fans. We also met some really nice people.

Ellis Paul

When Ellis began to play we knew we were in for a very different type of show. It was so casual and fun. Ellis and the crowd riffed and chatted. In the first part of the concert Ellis used the sound system, he played the keyboard, harmonica and two different guitars (if I was a more musically inclined person this would be more accurate). While we listened, Tim’s two beautiful black labs, Jake and Jasper wandered the room looking for pets. We were only too happy to oblige. There is nothing like scratching the ears of a beautiful black lab and listening to the raw passion of a song by Ellis Paul. It is something akin to a religious experience.

Jake and Jasper

During the break between sets we had some snacks. Part of the key to being a participant in these concerts is bringing something to share with everyone. There were many fine and eclectic treats. I’ll have to make some of my Choco-Nutty-Bacontastic Cookies. Allison picked up a coupe of CDs including one that we got signed, later.

The Concert hall

The second half of the concert Ellis opted to stop using the sound system and moved even closer to the audience. Allison even got to hand him a pick. Ellis took requests during this time and he played both God’s Promise and Words. God’s promise is an important song to us because it is what I used on the Hold On To Hope video for the Machinski family as well as on the DVD that I made of Grandma Theresa’s photos. Words is an important song to us as it was our 1st dance wedding song.

Telling Stories

The afternoon was one experience that I’ll never forget, it was amazing. Simply one of the most amazing musical times we have ever had. We’d like to thank Tim and his family for creating The Kiva House Concert series. We’d also like to thank Ellis for being so gracious, funny, passionate and talented.

Allison's leg

After the concert we had our photo taken with Ellis and he signed one of the CDs that we bought as well.

Allison, Ellis and Me

More photos are on Flickr.

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9 Responses to “Ellis Paul – Kiva House Concert”

  1. Christine says:

    WOW. I never heard of this before. We are not far from Billerica at all. I’m definitely going to get on their email list in the hope of going to a concert there sometime in the future.

    I’d bring my almost world famous triple chocolate cookies. Or something else good that I can think of. If I make it, it’s good, and nobody dies from eating it!

    This sounded like a great time. Thanks for sharing the experience!

  2. Drew says:

    This concert series is one of those Best Kept Secrets, It was incredible. I’m only all to happy to share my experiences, good and bad here on the blog.

    Your cookies sound delicious. I bet they’d go well with some JIF and Bacon. 🙂 YUM!!!

  3. Baba says:

    Wow! What a fantastic experience. There is nothing like an up close and personal concert experience. I attended a few in my younger years, but none lately. I don’t know any of the new musicians. I’m kinda stuck in the era of Steppenwolf, 3-Dog Night, etc.. I’m a huge Carol King fan. You get my drift.
    .-= Baba´s last blog ..Aloha Friday =-.

  4. Drew says:

    You’d really enjoy Ellis. I think you really would. He is amazing.

  5. Sarah says:

    Great sound! great mixing! awesome acoustic!
    you got every little talent man!

  6. Drew says:


    I couldn’t agree more. Are you the Sarah that we met? I thought your blog was a different one, one about books. The link you left here is an interesting site.

  7. Lisa says:

    I’ve not heard of this kind of concert before but it’s a great idea.

    There is nothing like getting up-close and personal with a good band.

    Just wish I lived close enough to take my family.

  8. Drew says:

    It is a really amazing time. You’re a bit far for this concert but I bet there are some good ones out your way. Thanks for dropping by.

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