Some Thoughts on Open Mic & Open MInded Mic

This is my first blog.  Dave is so on me to write a blog but my concern is – who cares what I have to say about anything?  Most of the time, I don’t even care what I have to say.  So you know, it is with some reluctance that I write.  With that being said I can move forward – if you agree with me and could care less what I have to say then just stop reading.  If you disagree – continue at your own peril.

We’ve been running our open mic for about 3 months and I have to say that I am humbled and awed by the performers that play and sing their hearts out every week.  Let me give you an example – there is this amazing guy who comes to every open mic we do.  I asked him what his story was and he proceeded to blow me away.  I don’t know how old you are but I’m sure you’ve heard of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Joanie Mitchell and other folk artists who hung out and performed in the small clubs in the Village in New York City and literally changed the world with their music.  Well this guy who comes to all our open mics was there!  Back then!  He knew and hung out with many of these artists.  Listening to some of his stories has given me a new insight into the lives of these talented people who have become icons in the music world.

And he didn’t just watch, he performed and he continues – not just at our Open Minded Mic shows but at every open mic he can manage to get to.  And he’s good!  His renditions of some of the tunes by Phil Ochs and others are beautiful.   And his original pieces are melodic well crafted stories that draw you in slowly and touch your soul.  Really.

At Open Minded Mic we have over 40 performers who cycle in and out of our open mic events and they all have a story to tell.  Some are older veterans and some are emerging new talent.  Some are polished highly skilled artists and some are a little rough around the edges.  But as each one of them steps up to the mic they bring an enthusiasm that has to be heard and seen.

Last week a few of us were talking and I commented that what was really compelling to me about our open mic shows was that our audience, which includes our performers when they’re not on stage themselves, present a welcoming vibe and always show their appreciation by their attention and applause.

“When I watch someone up there performing, regardless of their experience or technical ability, I look for what it is about them that is unique and shines through – and I always find it.”  One of our performers said that and I’ll say this about Open Minded Mic – it ain’t no American Idol!



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