Tag Archive: singers

While Ben Wheeler is not exactly down the street – particularly for me in Farmers Branch – it is a very enjoyable open mic. For one thing, the Forge is usually full when the open mic begins. As a general rule, it’s also a very receptive crowd.

There are usually people who are willing to play along, on cajon, harmonica, and so on. All the performers are good and varied musically. TD Wilt is a jovial host and plays a short set to begin the evening – setting the pace quite nicely.

So pick a Wednesday and head on out. Ben Wheeler is a quaint little country town and the Forge is a local watering hole. You will enjoy the people, the music, and the food. Following is a video TD put together of one of the nights I played.


Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Darren Rozell

Darren Rozell

Last Friday, the 27th of January, was the fourth week of Little Anthony’s Reach for the Stars Talent Review competition at Harbor Point Club and Grill in Richardson. Regular judges, Lonny Schofeld, Pete Cormican, and Dan Roark were in attendance. Tin Man Travis, winner of week three, opened the show. Deano Isaacs, winner of week one, followed.

Contestants for the evening were Barry Healey, Darren Rozell, Jordan “Copperhead Taylor” Bearden, Linda Stone, and Sonya Wade. Fill-in performers were Joey Alcatraz and Tomas Pineda, Jr. with Dan Roark closing the show.

Darren Rozell won and will open the show this Friday. “Copperhead Taylor”came in second, with Sonya Wade coming in third. Darren performed original songs, as did the first place winners of three of the four weeks. After the winners were announced, Tin Man played a couple more songs with Brad Blackwood on harmonica.

The show this week promises to be as good as the previous weeks. Come join us, eat some good food and hear

"Copperhead Taylor"

“Copperhead Taylor”

some great music. The staff is friendly and there are shuffleboard and pool tables.

If you want to compete, call Anthony at 214-660-4799. There might be a couple of spots left.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.


Dan at WildflowerI substituted for Mr. Troll at the Poor David’s Pub open mic last Monday night while he took care of personal business. Unlike other open mics I have hosted – including PDP open mic – Monday’s went relatively smoothly. One guy showed up after the show had started and wanted to sign up. But he wanted me to bump somebody from before the featured artist to after to accommodate him. Other than that though, it was a good show. It was as if we were doing it for Troll.

I opened the evening. I remembered to talk about the drink special, but I forgot to mention Carlos Sanchez on sound and to tell people to be sure to tip Leslie, the bartender. Shame on me. I told people about Carlos, just not on stage. Regardless, I played a good tight set. Mike Newkirk followed me. He performed well, despite having a sore throat previously. Jovani Flores played a good set, in his unassuming fashion.

Emma Walsh preceded the featured artist. As I said in my introduction, I have had the privilege of watching her grow in her musical career for the past few years. Her voice is mesmerizing, though it still has a ways to grow. She played a song she wrote about the shooting during the protest called I Said Hello to the Devil. It’s a nice song.

Sleepy Creek, the featured artist, took the stage next. I’ve been waiting to post for the names of the band members and haven’t heard back. I didn’t have a chance to write them down. But I do know that Joel Edgar Hill is the acoustic guitarist and lead singer. They are definitely a down home band. One of the songs I really liked was the song about cornbread and making it without sugar. A good time band with interesting stories to tell in a blues and Americana way.

Mike Freiley followed Sleepy Creek, then Wild Bill Skye before Darren Rozell played his three song set. Newcomers to the open mic, Travis Armes and Justin Kemp, both played a tight set. Gary Hurst and Tull Rea rounded out the evening. From first to last, it was an evening of good music. But that’s not uncommon at the Poor David’s Pub open mic. Just saying.

Peace be with you.

Jeff Hopson

Jeff Hopson

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on Monday (the 8th if you were napping) began the way most of them do – with Mr. Troll in the “dreaded opening spot” (look for an upcoming post on that). Mike Donahue played a mixture of originals and cover songs on the keyboard. I followed Mike with three of my songs, ending with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Since we started late, the featured artist, Jeff Hopson, followed me.

Jeff Hopson has a strong grip, a twinkle in his eye, and his presence commands a second look. He appears to be a cross between Charlie Daniels, David Allan Coe, and Hank Williams Jr. And yet – while there are similiarities – he actually doesn’t really look like any of them. He looks like Jeff Hopson and carries it with character. His songwriting talent is on par with any of the songwriters he appears to resemble.

Hopson doesn’t take himself too seriously. Which is clearly evident in Jeff’s Jeff Hopson 3songs. Particularly a song such as If Jesus was a Texan. When he asked if anyone knew who Jack Kerouac was, and nearly everyone raised their hand, Hopson commented that it was the most people at any one show that had responded positively. Then he played his introspective song, Kerouac On the Run.

Jeff’s set also included Novel Sort of Man. Which is the type of country song with some depth and clever word play. No obligatory mention of trains, trucks, or Texas destinations. The only name he dropped was Clark Gable – and he would have appreciated the reference.

You can hear Jeff Hopson and the Heretics on Tuesday nights at the open mic at Tavern on Main Street in Richardson. The music begins at 8 p.m. He is an attentive and appreciative host. And they have good food and drinks as well.

Charlotta Clutter

Charlotta Clutter

John Mason and Brad Eubanks, respectively, followed Jeff Hopson. You can hear John Mason on February 16 at the Dallas Songwriters Association third Tuesday showcase at Sons of Hermann Hall. After Brad Eubanks played, Troll introduced Charlotta Clutter.

Charlotta Clutter is a young woman from New Hampshire. When I met Charlotta, she made me think of beatniks – not the totality of the reality, but simply the sense of non-conformity. Her eyes revealed an innocence belying the things to come. Combined with self-reliance for what is known and acceptance of – and openness to – what is to come. A readiness to turn any new lessons learned into a song and move on to the next lesson. An introverted extrovert. (I’ll wait for you to either look them up, or, more likely, say “I can relate.”)

Charlotta has a casual stage presence that reminded me of women folk singers in the sixties and seventies. An intentional reliance on the song itself to make the point and the confidence that it would. And she’s also funny as hell.                                                                                   Charlotta Clutter 2

“Do you go to the dump here?” Of course everyone laughed. When we say the dump, we mean the furniture store. “Back home we go to the dump once a week to see what everyone is throwing away and socialize.”

I’m not exactly sure what the name of the song is, other than possibly, The Dump. But it tells about a woman going to the dump and discovering that her ex had thrown away their dirty secrets in a clear plastic bag, for everyone to see. Causing humorous reactions.

Charlotta’s other two songs were Playing Second Fiddle to a Fiddle and Alphabet of Regrets. All three songs have interesting word play and twists. You can hear her yourself at the DSA Tuesday Showcase/Open mic mentioned earlier. Dean Harlem, also from New Hampshire, opened his set with a Townes Van Zandt tune. He will be at the open mic as well.

Flight School Nurses, a DJ, took the evening’s music in a whole new direction, with colorful lights. The inimitable Tin Man Travis followed him. Then David Lavinette took the stage. If I’m not mistaken, the evening ended with a jam that included Carlos Sanchez, Tin Man Travis, who knows who all, and Troll on his new conga drums.

Peace be with you.

Space Gringos 2The first open mic tales post of the new year is about the featured artist at the last open mic at Poor David’s Pub – hosted by Mr. Troll – of 2015. The featured artist was Space Gringos. Troll wrote a post about them being the featured artist, but their music is not online – yet, read on. So I had no idea what to expect.

Troll kicked off the open mic, as usual. Three other songwriters played their songs. Then Space Gringos set up on stage. The serious electronic drum set that Tim Moffet was setting up made me wonder what type of music we were about to hear. Then his brother, Dan, set up their personal monitors and broke out his AX-Synth Synthesizer and looper which took my thoughts of what we were about to hear in a totally new direction.                                                                                                                          Space Gringos

When they kicked off their set, there was a familiarity with some of their music I couldn’t place. Then either Tin Man Travis or Troll said the synthesizer reminded him of Edgar Winter. Which explained the familiarity I felt. Except that the keyboard, then synthesizer, that Winter first played was much bigger and bulkier than the sleek AX-Synth.

Space Gringos is an apt name. With the driving beat of Tim’s drums, and Dan’s synthesizer and looping finesse, the result is full sounding in-your-face rock –  with a liberal dose of otherworldly quality reminiscent of not only Edgar Winter, but some of David Bowie’s work. Which you will be able to hear soon – I told you to read on – their album will be on CD Baby soon. In the meantime, you can find them on Facebook and Bandmix. Be sure to catch their show when you can.

Peace be with you.

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