Just this past Thursday, I made the journey to the Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania, a small Moravian town on the outskirts of Winston-Salem, for my very first open mic night there ever (as well as my first open mic night in the Winston-Salem area since 2012). As I was driving along U.S. Highway 52 North, I did not know what to expect when I got to Bethania, but as I got close to the cafe, I noticed the town’s effervescent beautiful with it’s Moravian-style scenery and brick crosswalks.
Once I entered the Muddy Creek Cafe, I said hey to an old friend, Country Dan Collins, who hosted the open mic there. I had not seen or spoken to him since 2012 when I played my last open mic at Chelsee’s, a coffeehouse that was located on Trade Street in Winston-Salem, and we sat down and caught up with one another. Dan is now a proud grandfather. His son, Nate, a drummer who lives in Dallas, Texas, has a daughter named Isla.
There was a lot of great talent at Muddy Creek that evening, including an incredible left-handed axeman who played Dan’s guitar upside down and two adorable ukulele-playing young ladies (one of whom played my favourite song, Riptide by Vance Joy). Of course, I cannot forget to mention Dan, whose set included a song that he wrote about his granddaughter and one that brought back memories of my first open mics in Winston-Salem, Open Mic At The Rubber Soul. To elaborate a bit, the Rubber Soul was a club on Burke Street where I played for a few months in 2004 and 2005, and that was where I met Dan, Drew Hofmann of White Light, future Vel Indica frontman Patrick Ferguson, and Adam Hutchins. Back to my performance at Muddy Creek, I was last on the bill, and my set consisted of the following songs:
- I Won’t Back Down/Stay With Me — Tom Petty/Sam Smith
- Take Me Back — original song
- Have I Told You Lately — Rod Stewart/Van Morrison
Words cannot express enough how good it felt to share my music with people in the Winston-Salem area once again. It was like going home and seeing old friends, and I had a great time. I plan to return to the Muddy Creek Cafe again in at least a couple of weeks. If you are a musician, you are more than welcome to come on out to this lovely establishment one Thursday night. Sign-up start at 6:15 PM, and the event starts at 6:30 PM. I guarantee that you will have the time of your life!