The Living Room Reopens and Expands

    The Living Room Reopens and Expands

    Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    The music business drumbeat has been loud and insistent – and not in a lift-your-hands-in-the-air, EDM way. Declining sales. Musicians and songwriters left out of the new streaming economy. Venues closing in neighborhoods where rents have outrun audience. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, several long- time music venues have closed in recent weeks.  But Jennifer Gilson and Steve Rosenthal, owners of The Living Room, NYCʼs premiere listening room, simply said, “No. There remains a supportive audience hungry for an up-close experience with good music.”  The couple built a 16-year story of presenting the soul and craft of song in an intimate setting on the Lower East Side, and now theyʼve  staked their future on a bigger room and an expanded vision. The Living Room, their new 250- capacity venue with the Rust Bar in front and a  roof-deck bar with a Manhattan view, is now open at 134 Metropolitan  Avenue in Brooklynʼs Williamsburg neighborhood.

    “Weʼre a family-owned business that was built purely on our love for music – and our belief that there will always be an audience for great songs and great sound,” says Rosenthal. “We didnʼt see the type of intimate listening experience that we created with The Living Room.  So now weʼre back.” Rosenthal knows sound: Heʼs also the Grammy-winning proprietor of The Magic Shop, the legendary recording studio featured in the New York City chapter of Dave Grohlʼs Sonic Highways series on HBO,  which presented both a history of eight local music scenes and a  cautionary tale of the changing music landscape. “This is personal for us,” Rosenthal maintains. “Weʼve put our familyʼs future on the line.  But we just refuse to quit.”

    His wife and partner, Jennifer Gilson, once again leads the creative and music programming at The Living Room. The new room gives her increased flexibility along with the added capacity. “Our main music room has a standing capacity of 250, including a wrap-around balcony,” Gilson says.  “Perfect for rock, roots and indie-bands. We will have DJ sets as well.  But we can quickly add tables, chairs and candles for intimate, close-up evenings with singer/songwriters and folk artists – itʼs like the Ludlow  Street location that artists and audiences loved dropped into a larger rock club.” The Living Room launched the careers of a generation of singer/songwriters, and now Gilson intends to do the same for the next generation of musicians, many of whom now claim Brooklyn as their home.

    For example, on January 21, Alex Bleeker of Real Estate will curate a much-anticipated night that includes the return of Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, with King Cyst and comedian Adam Friedland. Other upcoming performances include Jolie Holland on February 5; Son Voltʼs Jay Farrar in a rare acoustic setting on February 10, and British R&B showman James Hunter on April 22. Jim Campilongoʼs ongoing residency warms up Tuesday nights (recent guests included Wilcoʼs Nels Cline, and Jimʼs residency was covered in the New Yorker).

     Upcoming shows at The Living Room 


     Tue Feb 10th

    7pm Courtney Hartman & David Moss

    9pm Jay Farrar with opener Chip Taylor


    Wed Feb 11th

    8pm Dylan Connor and the Epic Poets

    9pm Milton


    Thu Feb 12th

    8pm Gumball’s Don Fleming


    Fri Feb 13th

    12am Verskotzi


    Sat Feb 14th

    7pm The Kennedys

    8pm Janna Pelle

    9pm Nicky Egan

    10pm Vita and the Woolf


    Mon Feb 16th

    Dani Mari presents Lovefest

    Featuring: Owl and Wolf, Lily Virginia, Shannon Pelcher,

    Ashley Jones, Jesse Merandy from The Breakneck Boys,

    Chelsea Mitchell, The Berries, Andi Rae Healy, Will Hanza,

    Crystal Jurado, and J.R. Garcia


    Tue Feb 17th

    7pm Courtney Hartman & David Moss

    8pm Chris Morrissey

    9pm Jim Campilongo Trio with Chris Morrissey and Josh Dion

    10pm Tim Kuhl’s St. Helena

    11pm Motherwell Johnston


    Wed Feb 18th

    7pm Jeffrey Dean Foster

    8pm Julia Joseph

    9pm Milton


    Thu Feb 19th

    8pm Jared Saltiel

    9pm Megan Cox


    Fri Feb 20th

    8pm Ryan Gibeau

    9pm Miwa Gemini

    10pm The Sea The Sea

    11pm Tomás Pagán Motta Record Release


    Sat Feb 21st

    7pm Caitlin Mahoney

    8pm Sharp Things

    9pm Mary Lorson


    Sun Feb 22nd

    Charming Disaster CD Release with Not Waving But Drowning


    Mon Feb 23rd

    8pm Gabriel Gordon featuring Andy Hess, Tony Mason and Eric Deutsch


    Tue Feb 24th

    7pm Courtney Hartman & David Moss

    8pm Margo Valiente

    9pm Zephaniah and the 18 Wheelers featuring Jim Campilongo, Gerald Menke, Roy Williams, Scott Colberg, Nick “Crime” Anderson, Zephaniah O’Hora


    Wed Feb 25th

    7pm The Universal Thump

    8pm Benjamin Cartel

    9pm Milton


    Thu Feb 26th

    7pm Ife & Danny

    8pm Simi

    9pm-11pm Abby Payne Single Release Show With Pete Francis


    Fri Feb 27th

    7pm-10pm Dave Doobinin “The Left Side” CD release featuring Sandy Bell

    11pm King Radio


    Sat Feb 28th

    8pm Winterpills

    10pm The Truthseekers


    Check out the LMN&R Facebook page for content announcements and additional photo galleries.

    Check out the reviews of two nights of Golden Gate Wingmen featuring John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane and Reed Mathis in Long Beach CA February 6 and 7    Night one:   Check out the review of Long Beach night two here!

    Check out our review of the John K. Band at the State Theater

    Check out our recent review of String Cheese Incident at the Capitol Theater

    Check out the recent review of the Golden Gate Wingmen at Terrapin Crossroad



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