6th November 2017

Just last Thursday, I went back to the Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania, North Carolina for another amazing open mic night. Not only did I have an awesome time and enjoy some great music by other musicians, but when I took the stage, I sang an original song, (U) Spit Me Out, and the following two covers:

  • Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
  • Welcome To Your Life by Grouplove

My friend, Country Dan Collins, who hosts this event every week, and I had a conversation about songwriter during which he mentioned that it was OK to write a crappy song sometimes as long as continue to work on your craft, and I mentioned the Goo Goo Dolls frontman, Johnny Rzeznik, who wrote Iris for the City Of Angels soundtrack after a period of dealing with writer’s block that followed the Dolls’ success of their 1995 breakthrough hit, Name. I told Dan that Johnny said, “If it sucks, I don’t care,” as he was writing Iris. As an artist who writes music when the spirit moves me, I tend to agree that a song does not have to be perfect or a hit. It just has to come from your heart.

Remember that the open mic night at Muddy Creek happens every Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM with sign-ups starting 15 minutes earlier. Come on out one week, and show us what you’ve got!


25th October 2017 #BenjiMartinNC #concert #openmic #NCmusic #GSONCmusic

Last night, Westerwood Tavern was the setting for my first open mic performance in Greensboro since 2009. Like at Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania last week, I felt at home at Westerwood because an old acquaintance from my Flatiron days, Blockheads leader Matty Sheets, welcomed me with open arms. 

The Flatiron was a club where I played from 2005 through 2009. It was located on Summit Avenue in downtown Greensboro until it shut down a few years ago.

Last night’s list of performers had about 20 people because besides us musicians, several comedians signed up. I was 18th on that list, and I treated the audience to renditions of:

  • I Won’t Back Down/Stay With Me — Tom Petty/Sam Smith
  • Have I Told You Lately — Sir Rod Stewart/Sir Van Morrison

Even Matty was impressed with how I have improved as an artist over these past few years since my last open mic performance at the Flatiron. Not only will I continue to sing at Westerwood and at Muddy Creek, but I will continue to find other open mic opportunities so that more people will hear my music.

24th October 2017

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!

Open Mic Night at Muddy Creek Cafe #BenjiMartinNC #NCMusic

Good evening. This just a short note that I will be at the Open Mic Night at Muddy Creek Café in Winston-Salem, NC on Thursday, 19th October 2017. The event starts at 6:30 PM, and all musicians and singer-songwriters are welcome. The event is hosted by Country Dan Collins, whom I have known from past open mic nights in Winston-Salem. For more details, email me at

4th September 2017 #BenjiMartinNC #NCMusic #wsncmusic #gsoncmusic #hpncmusic

Hello, everyone! I want to wish you all a very Happy Labor Day. I have been off of the open mic stage these past few months is because of a hectic work schedule and some personal issues that have left very little time even for practise. So if the Good Lord is willing, I intend to be back out performing next month and begin recording some new music sometime in 2018. I love you all very much, and I really appreciate the support that you have shown for my music. You guys rock! God bless. See you in October, Piedmont Triad!

Good To Be Back #openmic #concert

I just got home from playing at my first #openmicnight in five years. It was at R Lo’s Pub & Grub in my hometown of Thomasville, North Carolina, and it was hosted by my friends, the PeaceTrain Band. Between their sets, which included renditions of classics by the likes of Neil Young, Eric Clapton, and John Denver, I was fortunate to play two sets, which altogether included verions of hits by U2, Sir Paul McCartney, Vance Joy, and the late George Michael, plus one of my original songs, (U) Spit Me Out. Aside from the positive feedback that I received from everyone who enjoyed my performance, I had a great time enjoying and playing some awesome music.

Remember that if you’re a Piedmont Triad area musician, come on out to R Lo’s on the first Sunday of every month and share your God-given talents! R Lo’s Pub & Grub is located at 207 Fisher Ferry Street in Thomasville. Be there or be square!

Open Mic Night at R Lo’s Pub & Grub

What’s up, everyone? I hope that your day is going well. I just want to call your attention to an event that has just started. It is the monthly Open Mic Night at R Lo’s Pub & Grub in Thomasville, North Carolina, and it is hosted by my friend Phillip Peace and his group, the PeaceTrain Band. I will keep you posted on the exact date of this event.

If you live in the Piedmont Triad area of NC and you are a musician or if you just enjoy good music, come on out next month to R Lo’s Pub & Grub, which is located at 207 Fisher Ferry St. in Thomasville. You will have a great time, and that is a guarantee!