Before the spring opening of Nassau Coliseum or kickoff of Jones Beaches’ summer lineup, go acoustic this winter. Warm up by listening to some unplugged music indoors, served up locally in one of these five settings:
AT A CHURCH
There’s no Mass on the second Saturday of each month at the Church of Saint Gerard Majella in Port Jefferson Station. Instead, there’s an acoustic concert in the chapel.
An audience of about a hundred people gather for a concert as part of the Homegrown Music Café series, running since 2009.
“Our crowd is attentive. They are there to sit down and listen to music — you can hear a pin drop,” says producer Ralph Antignano. “The artists are encouraged to talk about their music. It’s very casual.”
Guests can enjoy coffee and baked goods during intermission and each artist does a post-concert meet-and-greet with audience members.
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. second Saturday of each month, 300 Terryville Rd., Port Jefferson Station
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INFO 631-473-2900, homegrownmusiccafe.com
AT A MANSION
Now in its 12th season, Live@Deepwells has become a monthly tradition at Deepwells Mansion in St. James. Artists from around the country gather in the parlor to perform for a small crowd in tight quarters.
“It’s a cross between a house concert and a show in a concert hall. There’s an intimacy, but it still feels like a venue,” says host/creator Dave Dircks. “We focus on all different genres — singer/songwriter, adult alternative, pop, folk, country and bluegrass.”
Shows are on a first-come, first-served basis with tickets sold an hour before it begins. Folk singer Michael Braunfeld plays with Sophie Buskin on March 1 and vocal duo Kaitlyn Raitz (cello) and Ben Plotnick (fiddle) on April 5. Guests can download a podcast of the evening’s live performance as a memento.
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) first Wednesday of every month, Deepwells Farm County Park, St. James
AT A THEATER
East End troubadour Nancy Atlas and her band perform winter off-the-cuff jams with weekly special guests at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.
“Every show is a completely different experience,” says Atlas. “The concept is showcasing these amazing sidemen that I’ve worked with throughout my career.”
On the roster: violinist Randi Fishenfeld (Jan. 21), who has played with B.B. King, Journey and Kansas; Simon Kirke of Bad Company (Jan. 28), and trombone player Clark Gayton (March 23), who has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Prince.
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Jan. 21 and 28, March 23, 1 Bay St., Sag Harbor
INFO 631-725-9500, baystreet.org
AT A BAR
Friday evenings are acoustic time at Smithtown Social, a Manhattan-style bar that caters to the 40-plus crowd with acts like “Acoustic Danny” Fulciniti mixing up pop hits with classic rock.
“I get people dancing. It’s like a little party,” says Fulciniti. “I feel out the room and play to the crowd’s mood.”
Guests can enjoy sangria, beer or signature cocktails like the Toasted Almond martini plus a rotating menu of daily appetizers.
WHEN | WHERE 8-11 p.m. Fridays, 281 West Main St., Smithtown
INFO 631-445-2557, smithtownsocial.com
AT A BREWERY
Hang out in the family-friendly tasting room of Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue, where acoustic acts perform 4-8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays to a crowd that can buy freshly brewed craft beers on tap.
“We incorporate different nuances into the songs because there’s a strong element of improv,” says guitarist-vocalist Anthony Pravata of Jon & Anthony’s Acoustic Jam. “It’s all positive vibes in that room.”
WHEN | WHERE 4 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 161 River Ave., Patchogue
INFO 844-272-2739, bluepointbrewing.com