Tag Archive: hosts

Joe Cat

Joe Cat

And on we go… The September 19th and 26th editions of the Poor David’s Pub Open Mic demonstrated what you are missing. That is, if you enjoy hearing good music. And it’s just one open mic of over 165 each month. That includes the Dallas Songwriters Association events – just saying. In fact, I didn’t do my DSA spiel on the 19th because most of the several present were members.

The regulars alone are enough to bring you back to hear some more good music the next week. And as I usually make clear, this applies to a good number of open mics, if not most, or all, of them. Then there are the irregulars and the touring songwriters who happen to be traveling through the area. Not to mention the welcoming hosts, such as Mr. Troll at PDP.

In particular, the PDP open mic has a weekly featured artist. Joe Cat was the featured artist on Monday the 19th. Joe’s songs are songs of the land. Telling the stories of people and places he has seen on his travels around the country while touring. Songs such as Roads Never Traveled, Dark Texas Oil, and Heart Made of Clay. My particular favorite is Silver Thread City. On his cd, How Are You? Where Are You?, the song has piano without guitar. While it’s a very good version, I like the acoustic version with Joe on guitar better. You can decide for yourself. He posted the acoustic version on his Facebook page.

Allen Hurt was the featured artist the next week on the 26th. The title of his cd, Always

Allen Hurt

Allen Hurt

Country pretty much sums up his music. As do the songs Rambling Rita, She’s A Country Girl and Two Nights and A Heartache Later. With all the types of songs that are called country these days, it’s refreshing to hear “good ole” country music . Allen’s humor fills the time between songs on stage.

So if you’re wondering what to do tonight – on any night of the week, find an open mic and go play. Even better, if you’re a music lover, go listen. Speaking for the open mic community, we’d love to have you. Having someone to enjoy our music is at least half the fun. And you’ll always be welcome.

See you at an open mic.

Peace be with you.

Me playing at Poor David's Pub open mic

Me playing at Poor David’s Pub open mic

To recap (or see part 1), the first two qualities of an open mic that feels like a second home are – variety of performers (age, talent, and experience), and performers who lack egos and are willing to support those less experienced than themselves. It should be mentioned, however, that there will always be that visiting performer who thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips and wonders why everyone’s not telling him how good he played.

While I’m using the Poor David’s Pub open mic as an example, there are a number of open mics that have these qualities in varying degrees. The Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) open mics and song swaps are welcoming and supportive. I’m hoping other open mic hosts will chime in with comments on their open mic. I’ve also tried to show that open mics have a hard time getting started. It takes the performing community to support it. Some members of DSA and their friends play at open mics several nights a week.

In fact, the third quality of an open mic that feels like a second home is a sense of community – like a weekly reunion as I mentioned in part one. An atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie. The fourth quality is friendly hosts, bartenders, and staff. Mr. Troll (host), Samantha Sanders, and Kevin Hale at PDP are excellent examples. The fifth quality – last, but no way in hell least – is a good sound man. Carlos Sanchez, in particular, is past good.

So there are the basic qualities of an open mic that feels like a second home. Yet for the first quality, variety of performers, something is missing. And that is you. Go to an open mic near you, or near where you are going to be. Sing your songs, sing covers, read your poems, do comedy, spoken word, whatever. Or just go and listen – performers need listeners, too.

Then spread the word. Open mics are places where young talent hones their performing and writing skills. They learn, not only from playing, but from watching more seasoned performers. Open mics are where songwriters go to try out new songs. When word gets out, people come to perform and bring their friends. People come to listen because of the combination of qualities I discussed. So play an open mic tonight or go and listen. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Peace be with you.


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