Whew! So … what did you think of Open Mic Week? Good? Bad? Indifferent? We know somebody didn’t like it (or, well, me, which is fun), but we had a blast! A huge thank you goes out to all the venues for having the open mics, all the artists who were brave enough to get on stage and share their art, and, of course, all four of you for reading. It’s been a project in the works for a little bit now, so it’s fun to finally see it come to fruition. Now it’s on to the summer events, of which there will be many. So many announcements to make. So little time. Oh, and remember that tiny local brewery named Flying Dog? It looks like we’ll be there again for their summer sessions concert series. Koozies and all. But shhhhhh. We’ll talk more about that later. For now, we have a hell of a weekend of music. In fact, some might say this is the strongest weekend of music we’ve had to date in 2015. Could it be? Could it be? Decide for yourself. First of all, we have Alive @ Five this evening down at the creek, and we all know how packed that gets. We also have Miss Tess over in Shepherdstown, and you remember her from our Q&A, right? Right. Justin Kalk is bringing his shred-tastic orchestra to Cafe Nola for a Thursday night show, too, which is super great. There are the normal – surprise! – open mics. And, lest you be reminded: That’s only tonight! Because don’t forget: There’s the Maryland Craft Beer Festival! And that thing has a ton of great stuff on the docket, including former Frederick Playlist Presents … artist Big Hoax (above) as well as the very fine dudes in Heavy Lights, who you know we know well. And then – and then! – Big Cork Vineyards is having their grand opening with a slate of music, including the fine men in Grand Ole Ditch. Plus, you have Ben Eppard, who we spoke with this week, bringing his hitchhiking stories to The Hill Chapel. Holy moly, the options are endless. Because even if none of that sounds good (and if none of that sounds good, shame on you), we also have Rhin. We have DJ Two Teks. We have Ginada Pinata. We have Ronny Smith. We have Jack Funk. We have Willie and all of his Chaperones. And, of course, we have Slam Dunk. Come for the Jukebox Underdogs. Stay for the Sucker Punch. Don’t forget to tune into The Local Playlist tomorrow at 1 p.m. We’ll have a very special show with our dear friend Cassandra Mullinix, she of Bucket Of Rock fame, and pretty much every single photo you see on this website. You won’t want to miss it. Another thing you won’t want to miss? Some dudes wandering the craft beer festival with a boat load of super-mysterious, super-cool promotional placards for an event that will hopefully melt all of Frederick’s faces. But that’s a secret. We’re about to have some fun now, friends. Don’t give up on us just yet.
Note: Throughout this week, we have posted photos, videos and accounts of some of the local open mic nights in and around Frederick. Today, we are sharing three experiences: One at Beans In The Belfry, one at the Blue Sky Bar And Grill, and the other at Bushwaller’s. Why are they up today? Because all of those open mic nights typically happen on Thursdays. Get it? Got it? Good. Now, let’s dive in.
Beans In The Belfry, 122 W. Potomac St., Brunswick
When: 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month
Sweet D. Are you familiar with him? If not, check back later, because we have a whole slate of open mics to get to as we cap off Open Mic Week. For now, though, check out his take on a classic Beatles tune from a performance he offered last month at the Blue Sky’s open mic. He was one of our favorites, if only because he was a good sport about it all. Oh, and Happy First Mean Comment Day!
Ben Eppard. Do you know him? Because you should. He’ll be coming to the area twice this weekend, performing at The Hill Chapel on Saturday and at Linganore Winecellars on Sunday. He’s got a bit of an interesting story: Dude likes to hitchhike between tour stops. He then blogs about it and, if all goes well, there will eventually be a book about the whole ordeal as well. We recently caught up with the Charlottesville, Virginia, songwriter to talk about his hitchhiking project, his upcoming area shows this weekend, and, of course, if he’s ever been in danger throughout his travels. For those interested in knowing more about Eppard, click here.
Note: Throughout this week, we will be posting photos, videos and accounts of some of the local open mic nights in and around Frederick. Today, we are sharing the experience of what it’s like to get up and perform your own songs in front of a foreign crowd. The performer at hand is FNP reporter Kelsi Loos. Why is she up today? Because there are no open mic nights we could find around town for Wednesdays, and plus Kelsi is the best. For those wondering, we will round out the week tomorrow with stops at Bushwaller’s, The Blue Sky Bar And Grill and Beans In The Belfry. Why? Because they occur on Thursdays. Get it? Got it? Good. The above photo is by Graham Cullen. The below story is by Kelsi Loos. Now, let’s dive in.
We told you yesterday that we couldn’t find an open mic for Wednesdays (which is why our post later today will be a little different from the other things we’ve had this week), so instead of posting a photo of an open mic that might go down tonight, we thought we’d offer this shot from a Thursday open mic: Bushwaller’s. The face? Brad Newman. He of Knolly Moles and Jack Funk fame. Plus, this picture is far too fun to not post.
We’re going to take a break from Open Mic Week to catch up with the great Miss Tess (who we’ve reviewed on this site before; you can find a link in the text below). Not only did we play her last week on The Local Playlist (did you listen? We hope so), but she’s also going to be performing at The Opera House in Shepherdstown on Thursday night. We caught up with her recently to talk about her latest EP, which is made up of mostly cover songs, what happened to The Bon Ton Parade, and, of course, what we can expect from her show over in West Virginia Thursday night (tickets are still available!). We love her to death and hopefully you will, too.
Note: Throughout this week, we will be posting photos, videos and accounts of some of the local open mic nights in and around Frederick. Today, we are sharing two experiences: One at Frederick Coffee Company and the other at The Cellar Door. Why are they up today? Because both open mics typically happen on Tuesdays. Now, we couldn’t find an open mic to get to on Wednesdays, so because of that, tomorrow’s entry will be a first-hand account of what it’s like to perform at one of these things (and don’t worry – it won’t be from me). Get it? Got it? Good. Now, let’s dive in.
Open Mic Week continues with this dark (but awesome) video of Andrew Bromhal, formerly of Silent Old Mtns., performing his old band’s “That Telescope Find” (but only after someone in the audience kept yelling for it … just saying) at The Cellar Door. If you’ve been out to any of the area local mics recently, chances are you’ve seen him pop up here and there to do some new tunes and a few old favorites. And if you haven’t seen him … well, consider this video a taste of what you might find if you happen to walk into any of the area’s open mics. We’ll be back later today with Tuesday’s installment of Open Mic Week. You’re excited, right? Let’s hope so.
Note: Throughout this week, we will be posting photos, videos and accounts of some of the local open mic nights in and around Frederick. Today, we are sharing an introduction to the series along with a recent experience at Cafe Nola’s open mic. Why is Cafe Nola first? Because, creatively enough, Cafe Nola’s open mic nights typically run on Mondays and today is Monday. Tomorrow, we will profile The Cellar Door and The Frederick Coffee Company, who typically hold their open mic nights on Tuesdays. Get it? Got it? Good. Now, let’s dive in.