Good evening, #Martinisers! How are you doing? I hope that you had a good Thanksgiving holiday. I will be back at Westerwood Tavern in Greensboro tomorrow night for another open mic. It starts at 9 PM with sign-ups beginning a half hour earlier, and it is hosted by Matty Sheets of Greensboro-based group Lightweight. So if you’re in the downtown area of the Gate City, head over to Westerwood and rock out with myself and the other artists who’ll be there!
Hello, #Martinisers! How are you doing? I am doing great, especially after my performance at the Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania yesterday evening. I was pleased to see everyone there, including the event’s emcee, Country Dan Collins, but I was surprised to see three other fellow musicians there from the Garage: Johnny “Hootie” Hoots (who is one of the most excellent bassists I have ever heard), Richard Boyd of the Bo-Stevens, and Fish (the artist formerly known as Catfish). If you do not know these guys, Google them for more information. My set at the Muddy Creek last night included Beth (Y’d U Have 2 Leave Me), an original that I wrote more than a decade ago but reedited a couple of years ago after a girl l liked very much broke my heart, plus I Wish I Knew You by the Revivalists and Wonderful Christmastime by Sir Paul McCartney and Wings. I cannot express enough what a great time I had singing and hearing the other musicians’ performances, nor can I say enough how pleased I was to see Hootie, Fish, and Richard again after being away from the open mic stage for several years.
To close, I also want to add that I will take next week off from performing due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope that you and your family have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Hey, Greensboro, get ready because I will be back at Westerwood Tavern on Guilford Avenue tomorrow evening for another open mic night, hosted by Matty Sheets of Greensboro-based group Lightweight. The event starts at 9 PM with sign-ups starting a half hour earlier. If you sing, play an instrument, or both, I encourage you to come out to Westerwood and play for us a song or two. See ya there!
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!
Good evening. I hope that you have been having a great weekend. This is just a quick note that I will be playing at open mic nights at the Muddy Creek Cafe in Bethania on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 and at Westerwood Tavern in Greensboro, NC on Tuesday, 7th November 2017.
Be sure to check back here for future updates.
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.
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!