The Dandelion Café has been serving up delicious home cooked food and fair trade coffee since they opened in May and now boasts an open mic every Wednesday night. They have been supporters of the local music scene from the start, hosting live music events throughout the summer, even giving 10% off breakfast during Riverfest weekend to anyone who showed their RF bracelet.
The open mic officially starts at 7 pm but seems to get busier as the evening progresses. Many styles/genres welcome – given the news of the week there were several Tragically Hip songs sung in tribute. Thanks to Matt Giblin for being host and sound tech.
No cover, but be sure to take advantage of the snack offerings & refreshments.
**NOTE (February 2018 update): The Dandelion Café has recently closed so this open mic is no longer happening.**
[Dandelion Café, 180 St. Andrew Street East, Fergus; every Wednesday 7-10 pm; licensed; no cover]
I have visited the Brew House in Fergus for live music on the patio and for Robbie Hancock’s songwriting competition. In keeping with the Brew House support of live music, songwriter & performer Noah Solomon is getting an open mic started on Thursday nights.
All set up for a nice acoustic sound in the main room, friendly host – all that’s needed is a few more players. If your regular open mic is so busy it is not always possible to get your turn at the mic, drop by the Brew House where your songs will be welcome. Since it is every second Thursday you might want to check the FB page to confirm dates.
[The Brew House, 170 St. David Street South, Fergus; every second Thursday, 8 pm sign-up, no cover]
This week’s adventure was a mix of something old and something new. I had never been to the Thursday night open stage at O’Brien’s, hosted by Adam Shaw, although lots of friends have visited. O’Brien’s is the current incarnation (a few management baton passes later) of The Old Copper Kettle, the first public jam I ever attended. Not having been in the building since our Tuesday night jam there ended I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Slightly nostalgic about the many hours spent there playing music with friends I found that O’Brien’s retained some of the warmth and relaxed ambiance that I remember.
All kinds of music welcome (originals, covers, rock out or be mellow) – just let Adam know you want to play when you arrive.
[O’Brien’s, 216 St. Andrew St, Fergus, Thursday nights 8 pm til ?]
One of the nice things about returning to a particular jam regularly is that others will become familiar with your music and add more layers to it. This week was an example – with an amusing little twist. When I walked into the Tuesday night jam at Delainey’s this week I couldn’t help notice that I was the only female musician in the place. Of course, I thought, it’s International Women’s Day and there are events celebrating women happening at other venues in and around town. When it came my turn to play, I played one of my own songs and my musician friends joined in. I have to say, it was a special IWD moment for me to have a room full of male voices belting out the chorus: “I’m not a diamond ring kind of girl – no – no – no. . .” Loved it!
So – I did it! I took my earnest songs about growing up, loving and changing and put them centre stage for adjudication. Straying from the path that led me back to singing – the one where music is for fun – I signed up to compete against other songwriters. Seemed counter-intuitive even in December when I registered with RJ Entertainment but, as I asserted in a previous post, it was a new forum for my songs and a personal challenge for myself.
Well – the judges did not grace me with their seal of approval. The songwriters that were chosen to go on (Don Sawchuk and duo Doug Roach & Laura Hasler) are talented, confident and energetic performers: I wish them luck in the semi-finals.
I still like my songs – just the way they are. I am grateful to my fellow songwriters and friends that came out to support me for their encouragement and kind words. Most of all, I want to thank Pete and Trish for the friendship and vocal harmonies they shared to make those songs all they can be. I look forward to many more hours of music-just-for-the-fun-of-it.