Farmington Civic live music series wraps March 31 with songwriters

A series of live concerts held at the Farmington Civic Theater over the winter months has given music lovers an “off-season” reason to come to downtown Farmington.

Producer Tom Birchler, who also coordinates the warm-weather Rhythmz in Riley Park concert series, said the idea for Friday Night Live emerged from conversations with theater manager Scott Freeman, who has booked live events over the past several years.

“People have gotten used to the idea of coming to downtown Farmington for music,” Birchler said. “This is a trial to see if we can get people to support live music in the winter months.”

Birchler said the theater provides a more intimate space that allows performers to better connect with their audiences. It’s a different experience from open air concerts in Riley Park, where audiences are there for the experience as much as the music.

“When you’re sitting in a theater, in a very close environment, you’re there to listen,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to develop is that real close artist-audience connection.”

Sixties band Paisley Fogg and singer/songwriter Paco Higdon performed in January and February, respectively. The March 31 concert will feature The Motor City-Music City Songwriters Round, which brings a popular Nashville format to the theater stage. Performers will include Rob Taube, a New York-based musician, songwriter, educator, and producer; Mark Barnowski, a performer and songwriter living in Nashville; and Allie Louise, a singer/songwriter from Rochester Hills.

Louise and Taube have traveled to Nashville to write music with Barnowski, Birchler said.

The two-hour shows begin at 8 p.m., and all ages are welcome. Cash-only tickets are $10 in advance at the box office (after 2 p.m. daily) or at the door. The Farmington Civic Theater is located at 33332 Grand River.