HC was born out of the ashes of a short-lived venue called Dark Room, on Wilton St. in 2013. It's known for its house shows, which started as an offshoot of the “DanManor” video series. McCord had bands stop by the house and he'd shoot a single-take live video on the porch. The first was in May, 2011 with Nashville’s The Winter Sounds.
After a year, McCord decided to open his house up to concerts. He had tried a couple of locations, but had to shut down for various reasons. He wanted to keep doing shows, so he shifted them back to the house and rebranded it as Hospitable Cat. Occasionally he partners up with Cabin Floor Records or other small venues for shows.
According to McCord, “the shows are pretty intimate, usually with a touring band or musician who's looking for a first show in Greenville or a different type of environment. The crowd is normally atypical for Greenville, with handfuls of friends and neighbors from outside the local music scene showing up. It's a different crowd than you find in bars and such, and people show up with lawn chairs and beer and wine to share. For most of the bigger shows at the house, we do potluck dinners or something involving food. For the big re-launch last year, we had 5 musicians, 3 visual artists, and a whole pig roasted in the yard.”
The artists are generally people he has shot videos with who fall in love with the porch. They also come from the vibrant group of local musicians, and there are a few booking agents and record labels who get in touch when they have musicians looking for a new place to play in Greenville. This most recent show was hosted at Half Moon Outfitters due to high temps and a lack of air conditioning at DanManor.
The Hospitable Cat himself, Dan McCord (pictured above).
When asked how to support the local scene, he said:
Go to shows. That's not a magic arrow or anything, but going to shows is a start. You can complain about the music scene. Or talk about how awesome it is without actually doing anything. But if you don't actually go out and support the locals and the touring musicians, you're not going to grow the scene. I realize people know the Asheville scene, but constantly seeing people go there for mediocre shows from bigger artists while ignoring the shows in their own backyards and complaining about is really disheartening. And for musicians - promote, promote, promote. Inviting people to shows on FB or any other platform is great. But unless you get your music out there and let people know what they'll expect, people are going to ignore it. It's frustrating seeing musicians bring hundreds out in Charleston and playing Greenville to tens.