This week I met up with co-adventurers Trish and Marg in Brantford to check out the open stage I have heard so much about. Held in a meeting room of a Best Western, this venue looks more like a place you would attend a conference or AGM than a folk club, but it is quickly transformed when the lights go down and the music starts. To start the night off we were treated to a 3 song set by Al Parrish, member of the group Tanglefoot, now showcasing his solo material. Following Al were performers that spanned at least three generations and many genres. The B.O.S. website has a record of the all the open stage performers and the songs they played.
The Brantford Open Stage was launched January 2006; prior to that the Brantford Folk Club, hosted by Donald and Brenda McGeoch, had been on the scene for 23 years. The event is hosted by Dave Jensen who shares his guitar, his button accordion and his quick east coast sense of humour. There is a sign up sheet at the door and I was warned that the order in which you sign up has nothing to do with when Dave will call you to the stage.
The atmosphere is very welcoming, from the volunteers at the door to the host and sound folks, to the friendly audience and, as a bonus, the $4 cover is waived for performers.
[Brantford Open Stage, 19 Holiday Drive, Best Western/Brant Park Inn, last Friday of the month Sept – June, 8 pm – ?]