If you didn’t come out last Wednesday you probably missed the best open mic ever. Tons of great musicians and a gigantic crowd came out to the Tree House. A few old friends stopped by we hadn’t seen in a while, family members came out for support, and even one Scrooge couldn’t ruin the holiday spirit (more on this down below).
1. Ben Garvey – I sound checked with John Prine’s “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round.” After that I played Beck’s “Cut in Half Blues,” “99%,” and “I Hope I Die on the Moon.”
2. Cynthia Bennett – Break up songs are a constant underlying theme to Cynthia’s music. I wonder what a happy song by her would sound like?
3. Erik Balkey – I turned off the monitors and raised up his vocals as he requested. His first song sounded fine. In the middle of his second song, he pulled out his plug and started putting his guitar away. I told him he could play another song, but he said he wasn’t in the mood. I asked him if anything was wrong and he said, “well, no one cares about the sound around here and no one is respecting me.” I thought someone heckled him, but it turned out that a bunch of people came in during his 2nd song and were talking among themselves. I guess Erik needed their undivided attention to enjoy himself up there. It’s one thing to not like the vibe of a place and decide not to come back. It’s another thing to quit in the middle of a song. Personally, I think he needs to grow the hell up.
4. Matt Winn – Played a rocking set on his new 12 string. As I mentioned at the open mic, he’ll be playing with me at the Tree House on December 6th.
5. Sarah Allen – She sounded great and even played a few songs later in the night.
6. Bob Michel – I think the crowd enjoyed Bob’s stuff this week.
7. Willie Tapps – Willie rocked the house as usual.
8. John Brennan – His grandmother made me get out of her way while he was playing, but that’s fine by me. John sounded pretty good and I think he did a few Beatles covers.
9. Joe and Kelly – Kelly’s voice is so easy to listen to. Jeanne heard them practicing outside and said they sounded great out there, too. They closed the show with Natalie Impruglia’s “Torn” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”
10. John Shaughnessy – The crowd went nuts for “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” giving him a receptive audience for his next two songs. Good thinking.
11. Roz King – “Christmas in a Trailer Park” could become a holiday classic if Rox ever recorded it.
12. The Forest Greens – There were a ton of great performances on Wednesday, but the Greens get my vote for best act of the night. Erik went to a Sixer’s game, so Mike convinced a friend of his to play violin with him and she was fantastic. The sad part is that Rob (the guy who usually works the counter on Wednesdays) loves the Forest Greens and he missed it because he was away.
13. Chrishana Obey – Her first song was quick and to the point – She needs a boyfriend. She played some song she sang for an American Idol tryout (“Simon’s an asshole,” she said) and “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, which won her first place in a pageant.