Category: Elora-Fergus-Guelph (page 3 of 13)

Venue: Lost & Found Café, Elora ON

IMG_20160702_195956A new addition to Elora, Lost & Found Café has started off well with a Saturday night jam. The café has a warm ambiance and great acoustics, which suit the unplugged music being played.

In addition to providing a lovely sounding place to play & hear music, owners Amanda & Kayla prepare scrumptious food and drink (the carmelized pear and aged cheddar pannini was delicious).

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The website doesn’t mention the jam but you can find current specials and other info on their FB page. Lost & Found Café is off the main street, tucked inside “The Mews”,  just next door to the Gorge Cinema, and it is definitely worth looking for.

[Lost & Found Café, 45 West Mill Street, Elora; Saturday 7-11 pm; no cover]

Event: Waterside Park Open Mic, Rockwood ON

Ian at WS PkRockwood has a tradition of kicking off the Pioneer Days Festival with an outdoor open mic. With Ian Reid as host, a beautiful riverside setting and perfect weather, this year’s Waterside Park Open Mic was a great success.   There was a full, all-ages list of participants and delicious treats just across the street provided by the Goodfellow Bakery.

The open mic was also something of a send-off for Ian as he heads west on tour with a new CD to share. We wish him a safe and fruitful journey!

WS Pk2 Banjo Julie Bev at WS

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Hunter trio Don at WS Pk

WS Pk4 Dewy at WS Pk Dan at WS Pk


Venue: A Bit of Open Mic, Rockwood ON

IMG_20160410_000433Ian Reid drew a lot of performers and supporters out for his first Rockwood open mic last Saturday. There were folks from Toronto, Hamilton, KW, Elora, Fergus, Guelph, as well as Rockwood who came to sing and play and make merry. A full house – and a lot of great music.

The venue – Chompin at the Bit – was so full they ran out of seats and tables but people kept arriving. Very few menu options if you don’t want to eat meat but friendly service and local brews on tap. Although the place was busy, the section where the open mic is held has a barrier of windows that helped keep ambient bar sounds from overwhelming the music.

Next open mic is planned for Saturday, May 14th, music starts at 9 pm, sign up at 8:30 (note, the place was already full at 8:30).

[Chompin at the Bit, 148 Main Street North, Rockwood; monthly around the 2nd Saturday (check website to confirm); no cover, licensed]

Elora Acoustic Café at the Wellington County Museum

IMG_20160212_212502Blustery weather and a new location might have kept people away from the Elora Acoustic Café this week – but that’s not what happened. A room full of attentive listeners turned up for the monthly event on February 13th. Thanks to EAC founder and host, Steve Royall, the tradition started at the Elora Centre for the Arts almost six years ago continues at the Centre Wellington Museum & Archives.

I still can’t say what predicts the success of an open mic, but the Elora Acoustic Café has a loyal following, a welcoming host, a good sounding room, and a great feature performer to round out the evening. There were many Elora-Fergus regulars, but audience members and performers also came from further afield, driving through the snow from Guelph, KW, Georgetown and Toronto.

The calibre of the open mic is definitely a draw. The majority of those who performed two songs at the open mic would clearly have been able to do a feature set. In fact, most of the performers left me wishing I could hear more of them.

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This month’s feature was Frog & Henry, aka Rich Burnett and Dave Neigh. Both are multi-instrumentalists and seasoned performers. Rich (also a songwriter par excellence) played resonator guitar and percussion while singing tunes from the 1930s. Dave played fiddle/banjo while simultaneously providing a tuba bass line (valves operated with his feet). In addition, Rich called for “intermittent Rein” in the musical forecast, Rein Rutnik joining them on harmonica for several songs.

Frog & Henry

A bonus for last night’s crowd was the show “My Story My Tattoo”, currently being curated at the Museum. At the break, folks could peruse photographs and personal stories of local inked skin artistry.IMG_20160212_190149

The one drawback of such a popular event: it’s sometimes hard to accommodate all the potential open mic participants. If you don’t arrive early, the list is likely to be full.

[Elora Acoustic Café, Wellington County Museum & Archives, 0536 Wellington Road 18, Aboyne; usually the 2nd Friday of the month – check the EAC website to confirm; $5 cover]

Venue: The Joint Café, Guelph

IMG_7779After Guelph’s Magnolia Café closed – and along with it, the Magnolia open mic – I was wondering if another event might spring up that would welcome the Tuesday night regulars. In addition to the charming Ian Reid hosting and the wonderful Arvi & staff supplying delicious food, the group itself had grown into a community and the Tuesday night gatherings were sorely missed.

Enter the Joint Café  – a new venue with a new vibe – but full of folks from the Magnolia Tuesday night crowd along with some new faces. The Joint Café provides treats for your eyes as well as your ears and palate. The art displayed changes about every 6 weeks (and is for sale).

Hosted by Andy Hughes, this open mic has a familiar format: sign up as you arrive, 3 songs per performer but, if the roster is a full one, as the evening goes on the songs may be down to two or even one song per performer to allow more people to play. The sound system was acting up the night I visited so everyone played acoustic sets. This meant the performers stepped forward a little and the listeners gathered closer – worked out just fine.

As it is a new event, check the café’s FB page to confirm that it’s a go for music on a given night.

Thanks Andy and the Joint Café for creating a space for shared music!

[The Joint Café, 43 Cork Street, Guelph; Tuesday 7-10pm; no cover; licensed]

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