A couple of weeks ago I visited the Dunedin Brewery (the oldest craft brewery in Florida – steps away from the Pinellas Trail) to check on the live music. I had visited several years ago and discovered a happening open mic that drew lots of talent. At that time I took the stage after full bands covering Rush and Led Zeppelin to share some solo originals on ukulele. I felt out of my depth but was given a warm welcome.
This time there was a house band who served as hosts as well as playing back-up for any interested parties. Musicians were invited to share originals to “keep it fresh”. Bands changed up as drummers and guitarists sat in with different musicians; fiddle and saxophone and singers added their colours to the stage. A good number of cover songs were mixed with instrumental rock and funk tunes.
Instead of the brave solo uke performance I did last time, two of us (self-described “old folkies”) got up to play a couple of originals. We were joined by an obliging back-up band of bass, percussion and keyboard which was very fun!
I always like to have some pics of the signs associated with the venue or event, and I was happy to see this statement of welcome:
Overall, a high energy open mic with a welcoming vibe – bring your energy and join in! And check out the calendar for live music and events almost every night of the week.
[Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Avenue, Dunedin, Florida; every Wednesday 8-12; no cover]
There is no lack of places to share music in the Guelph area, all with their own personality and focus, and it is always nice to see one that showcases original songwriting.
This fall, the Guelph Chapter of the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) hosted a Nashville-style “in the round” open mic, where three songwriters at a time share the stage and take turns performing their own tunes. It’s a chance to enjoy a variety of styles and to connect with other songwriters. Listeners welcome, too! Put February 23, 2020 at 4 pm in your calendar for the next Songwriters Open Stage at the ANAF in Guelph.
Peter Light, prolific songwriter and our host for the evening, also runs a SAC regional songwriters group in Guelph where musicians can try out new songs, ask for and give feedback in a supportive environment. The group usually meets the second Monday of the month from 7-9 pm but check the group’s FB page to confirm.
Smile Tiger Coffee is not your typical train station coffee shop. But there it is, just steps from the Kitchener VIA Rail pouring lattes and americanos, or craft brews if you prefer. And the first Friday each month there is a delightful open mic.
This event seems very well attended considering neither the venue (Smile Tiger Coffee) nor the sponsor (Brickhouse Guitars) promote it on their websites. I just happened to see a post from a friend to know it was happening.
Hosted by the friendly and talented Corey Heuvel, The Smile Tiger open mic attracts a high calibre of musician. The place was full and everyone had something great to offer. Solos, ensembles, covers and originals – lots of genres represented. And early enough to kick-start your Friday night.
Definitely worth a visit – bring your best.
[Smile Tiger Coffee 100 Ahrens Street West, Kitchener; first Friday of the month 7-9 pm, no cover, licensed]
This week I had the opportunity to explore a unique venue for sharing music (among other things): The Causerie. While many open mics and song circles are in pubs and cafés, this one takes place in a cozy community hub that opened in October 2018 as a home to the Marit Collective. In addition to the song circle the Causerie offers games nights, craft afternoons, spoken word open mics, as well as workshops and speakers to encourage connection and awareness.
The Marit Collective has a broad vision: “With this space, we are working to create a community centred around thoughtful discussion & deeper consideration of complex issues through sharing ideas and personal points-of-view.” For more information on upcoming events and initiatives visit their website.
Stephanie, one of the co-founders of the Marit Collective, was our host for the evening. The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive, almost like being in a friend’s living room with bookshelves, walls that feature the work of local artists. There is a piano and a guitar for general use but you are welcome to bring your own instruments. All levels of musical ability are welcome and no pressure to lead – this is a great place to bring your favourite sing-along or jam songs. The next jam will be on Tuesday, March 26th @7pm.
[The Causerie 154 Victoria St S, Kitchener; two Tuesdays/month, 7-8:30 pm; no cover]
As of this month a brand new open mic has joined the Guelph music parade of offerings. Another afternoon event (is my early bedtime preference starting to show in the venues I have visited?), this one is open to music, comedy, poetry or any other creative endeavours you would like to share with a group.
The hosts, Eric & André, keep a low profile as MCs but start the afternoon off themselves and then join anyone wanting some guitar back-up.
[Tavern on the Grange, 259 Grange Rd in the Grange & Victoria Plaza; “most Sundays” 3:30-7:00; no cover, licensed]