In a world of deep fakes and CGI, it is rare to find art in its purist form. Founders of The Music Room in Yarmouth, Brian Serpone and Scott Cornella, lifelong friends and musicians themselves, had a vision to change that and bring back live music to the Cape. They feared that much of the music we are exposed to today is a mixture of instruments and sound tracking and the art of listening to live music was becoming a rarity and that the Cape had a need for more “real” live music venues.
A Dream is Born
As they both worked in the real estate realm, this allowed them the opportunity to pursue the search for a venue. After several years of searching for a location that would satisfy and meet the criteria of the “outside of the box” approach, Brian located a venue in West Yarmouth and their aspiration soon became a reality.
In 2017, Brian produced the Hope Music Festival at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis to benefit Cape Cod Healthcare which raised money to fight the opioid epidemic. During the two years prior and in preparation for the Hope Festival, Brian became close friends with Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer Paul Nelson (former guitarist for the iconic Johnny Winter). In 2019, as the ideas for building a unique (multi-faceted) live music venue to Cape Cod started to formulate, Brian asked Paul to become involved in this endeavor and the core team was then solidified.
All three musicians share the belief that live music is an art to be cultivated and shared. Through the Music Room, they envisioned a venue that would provide an immersive experience capitalizing on an individual’s senses of sight, vision, and sound. The Music Room is designed to provide these sensations for each patron, and has since evolved into something much more than just a live music venue.
A Visit to the Music Room in Yarmouth
If you happen to be driving down Route 28, be sure to check out the Music Room in Yarmouth. Likewise, if iconic music is your passion, Google “The Music Room” and add it to your saved list to check out on a rainy day. It will be worth your time. During daytime hours between shows, the door is open to visitors who can take a brief tour and browse the Rock & Roll Art Gallery. Although it is located in an unassuming strip mall, you will be blown away by the ambience inside. Expect to be greeted by Brian or one of the other managers and be sure to ask for a tour.
Brian’s eyes light up with pride as he begins each tour. The venue represents the culmination of two plus years of work to perfect a sound space with acoustics designed for the ultimate indoor concert experience. Consultants for this venture included professionals from both NBC and SNL who are friends of Nelson.
The first room is illuminated with neon lighting, with a bar to the right with glowing vintage stools and open space. This leads to an intimate room setting with cocktail tables, dim blue lighting, and stage decor that would stand up to any mainstream venue in New York or Las Vegas. Brian explained that they offered tiered seating for diamond-level customers in the first row to varied price levels based on closeness to the stage for a house total of 88 reserved seats.
A collection of iconic black and white photos of vintage musicians are displayed on the side walls of the stage and create an art gallery unto itself. The Music Room is much more than just a concert venue: it includes a world-class recording studio, an in-house record label with artist representation and development, and separate performing spaces behind the scenes. There are unique surprises in each room, including a grand piano that belonged to the legendary late singer Brad Delp (of the band Boston) on display in a backroom.
Even the bathrooms are adorned with iconic murals including the likes of Queen and many other recognizable performers. Be sure to make a rest room stop on your visit even if you are just “browsing”.
Brian explained that the true art of live music is the experience between the artist and the fan. When the performer is on stage playing and creating in an intimate setting, that experience is amplified. In addition to performing on a stage, artists can also record their work in the sound studio. Nelson, who tours nationally himself, actively brings talent to the Cape venue. As a Grammy winning musician, he has taken the lead on producing, recording, mixing, and editing future albums for visiting artists under their own label Sun House Records.
The vision of the Music Room from its inception was to have national and international artists perform live concerts with top quality acoustics in an indoor setting that can be enjoyed year-round. Most Cape venues cater to outdoor concerts, but this space beckons for musicians to play in a more intimate setting.
Since opening the doors, a year ago, there is live music six nights per week throughout the calendar year. The founders believe this will build community and attract a greater talent pool as well as offering opportunities for aspiring artists through clinics, lessons and “The 2nd Annual Unsung Heroes Vocal Competition” an American Idol-style vocal competition with a $25,000 first place prize fashioned by sponsors of The Music Room.
The Music Room project began in late 2019 just before the pandemic hit and thus the launch was off to a much slower start than anticipated. Now after a year under the “new normal” they are becoming a major player on the Cape. If you are a serious music lover, the Music Room is the “real deal”, and is centrally located on the Cape and only an hour from Boston and Providence. Be sure to check their website as their performances sell out quickly. The Music Room in Yarmouth is a jewel to be discovered and shared with all music afficionados.