It’s been a lively and busy summer so far, and last night I just did my 21st open mic night since first getting back out on the stage last September. It’s been a transformative experience, and I am incredibly appreciative of the community of artists that I have been able to find, particularly in Newton, Massachusetts and in Edmonton, Alberta.
I can feel that my songwriting has changed in the last 10 months of performing. Being around all of these other artists is incredibly humbling. The depth and array of talent is astounding. It is hard not to think of it as a competition when these incredible artists get to the stage before you and completely blow you away with their talent, their depth of feeling and performance… and then, after you get over that little bruise to your own self-esteem and that hurt little being that is inside of you, you can take what you have seen and see it as inspiration for becoming a better songwriter, better performer, and even maybe a little more pleasant individual.
The hosts of these open mic nights can make or break them. In particular, I have found two events that have become very dear to me both because of the encouragement of the hosts of one and the opportunities that have been presented by the host of another.
Andrew Geano and Terrance Reeves host the open mic jam at Bill’s Pizza in Newton, MA. They were there when I first brought the guitar back out of the case to perform live, and both of them have been an incredible source of encouragement on songwriting and on how to improve my live performance. Please look both of them up – Terrance is a local music producer and mixer in addition to being a great open mic night host. Andrew is genuinely one of the nicest people I know, and also is an incredible singer-songwriter. You can find his work on Spotify and also find his live gigs here.
The other gig that has been a source of opportunity for me is Tim Ko’s open mic night at Tommy Doyle’s in Nonantum. In addition to giving local musicians a place to play, Tim uses his open mic night to find people to take on longer sets around the MetroWest area. It is through Tim that I’m gonna be playing my first longform solo gig on September 20 at Tommy Doyle’s.
I have to go catch a plane now, but I look forward to talking with you again soon. Please mark September 20 on your calendar, and I’ll get you more details really soon!