This week, Peter (fellow intrepid music explorer) and I traveled to the town of Alliston to visit the Thursday night open mic at the Groundswell Coffeehouse. This is the first open mic I’ve been to that has been overwhelmingly youth oriented. Performers and listeners were largely from the under-25 demographic (although there were a few of us representing other generations). Owner, Janette VanderZaag, says that this has varied from year to year since they started the open stage in 2005. And this youth has talent: phenomenal piano and guitar; jazz, folk, pop, original compositions. The music was fun and soulful and definitely had a sense of humour. I wonder where else you might hear Michael Jackson and Metallica blended seamlessly in one song. Dave Head was the congenial host of the evening, calling performers up from the sign up list. Some of the highlights for me: Taylor Whittaker, “3/4 of the band Pistachio”, Tom Somerville, and Grant Boyer.
And I really should mention the snacks: delicious coffee, desserts from Dufflet Bakery and a great local beer from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery.
Thanks to Janette & Dave for providing the venue for these musicians to shine. And thanks to everyone who shared their music.
[Groundswell Coffeehouse, 96 Victoria St. W, Alliston; every Thursday 8 pm – sign up starts at 7]