Myths abound about the powers of the full moon. If you’ve spent any nighttime hours in an emergency room, police station, or bar then you’ve likely heard (or perhaps uttered) the phrase, “it must be the full moon.” But rather than simply enduring this monthly celestial craziness, Riffs Acoustic Music & Coffeebar (1205 Iron Horse Dr, 435.647.1940, riffspc.com) embraces that “something in the air” by offering cozy house concerts featuring some of the best acoustic musicians in the Intermountain West, dubbed appropriately Riffs Full Moon Concert Series.
Doors open promptly at 6 p.m. Around 50 regulars spill in and take a seat in the only music-specific venue in town. When Riffs’ owner Larry Hart retired to Park City, he wanted to turn his passion for guitar music into something the whole town could appreciate. And they do. “We’re not a bar; there’s no restaurant. People pay money, and they listen to musicians perform,” Hart explains. “The scene is electric. The audience’s energy feeds off the performer’s energy and so on.” The evening typically lingers until 9 p.m.—perhaps longer with encore after encore—which sometimes total four or more in this unique purist-focused venue.
Which is likely why artists endemic to the Wasatch Mountains music scene like Chris Proctor and Matt Flinner return to perform as part of the series year after year.
Riffs will, on occasion, offer an afternoon preconcert session with the musician(s), giving avid fans a chance to learn from the maestro. Songwriting with Kate MacLeod or Jake Workman’s bluegrass guitar techniques have been the focus of past Full Moon event workshops. So, the next time the moon rises full in the night sky, that hooting and howling you hear may not be from coyotes and owls in the surrounding hillsides, but from a different kind of wildlife, found in Park City’s cozy mecca for acoustic music.