For the Love of Mic: Open Mic Newsletter

Once a week local musicians of all ages meet in Santee to play music and enjoy the night.

Stop by the Wood ‘n’ Lips Open Mic at Frubble every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Hi Ya,

Last Sunday I went to the San Diego Folk Song Society’s song circle; (Greg Gross hosted) Opal McCracken was in attendance and was her usual sharp self--what a treasure!  Sandy Stedinger gave her a ride so she could go; later Sandy sent me an e-mail inquiring if anyone lived near Opal (Kearny Mesa Convalescent) that could give her rides to the open mic.  Opal loves to perform and everyone enjoys seeing her; if anyone can help out occasionally, let me know—we would all benefit.  I hope I can be as sharp as Opal is, if I am fortunate enough to live into my nineties.

And now, on to last Thursday’s open mic.

6:30 – Tim Woods – I got the evening off to a start with the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried”; followed by Gordon Lightfoot’s “In The Early Morning Rain”; Steve Seskin’s “B.F.D.”; Merle Travis’s “Sixteen-Tons”; and Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”.

6:45 – Gregory Gross – Greg kept the train theme going with “The Wabash Cannonball”; then he did an instrumental of his own, “Trolley Car”; Ken Graydon’s “Three-Quarter Time”; and Woody Gutherie’s “This Land is Your Land”.

7:00 – C.J. – Trains seemed to be the topic for the evening. C.J.’s first tune was Terry Gylkeson’s “Fast Train”; Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”; then he read a poem by Miriam Williams, “A Return to Love”, (which Nelson Mandella read on his inauguration); and finished with Naomi Ward Randall’s “I am a Child of God”; and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

7:15 – Les, Ray, & Alton – Alton took the first lead with Keith Whitley’s “I Never Go Around Mirrors”; then Ray picked up the reins with Ray Price’s “My Heart Tells Me Stay”; Les took his turn with Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”; Alton took another turn and sang Charlie Pride’s “Kiss an Angel Good Morning”; Les capped the set with a short, hot instrumental of “Wildwood Flower”.

8:00 – John Movius – John asked the guys to stick around and back him on his set; they hadn’t practiced together, but with the kind of pros they are, it wasn’t going to be a problem.  The impromptu band did Elvis’s “Mystery Train”; The Virtues’ “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”; The Surfari’s “Surfer Joe”; and Bill Dogget’s “Honky Tonk”.  It was a great idea—I’d love to have that band back me!

7:45 – Bob Cool, Bob Arsenault, Bob Setzer, and Tom Barbarie (Bob-erie?)  – Bob Cubed plus Tom, played classic bluegrass tunes, including “Bile Them Cabbage Down” with Bob Cool soloing on fiddle; Bob Arsenault led the guys with “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”; “Got Those Blue Ridge Mountain Blues”; and “Home Sweet Home”.

8:00 – Mitch Wilson – Mitch toned down the picking some with some sophisticated finger-style playing; his theme was musicals, he began with “One Hand One Heart” (Westside Story) followed by “Sunrise Sunset” (Fiddler on the Roof); “Wouldn’t it Be Loverly” (My Fair Lady); “Edelweiss” (Sound of Music); and the Beatles’ “Here There and Everywhere” (Movie?, maybe not).

8:15 – Bob Wilson – Bob combined the Bob’s and the Wilson’s all into one person.  He gave us a Rag Time set, including Milton Hager’s 1926 tune, “Ain’t She Sweet?”; then a tune about a grown-up sweetie, “Paddling Madeline Home”; and “Sweet William”.

8:30 – Tom Barbarie – Tom put away the banjo and took out his guitar for his solo set. He played Johnny Cash’s “Delia’s Gone” and “Give My Love to Rose”; Jim Reeves’ “Missing Angel”; Hank Williams’ “California Zephyr” (train tune); yet another train tune, Jimmy Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train”; George Jones’ “Tennessee Whiskey”, and “Step Right Up”.

8:45 – Chuck Fitzgerald – Chuck wields a banjo--he treated us to John Prine’s “Bottomless Lake”; his next tune was one he wrote about the volunteers that helped out after the disaster in Haiti, “Troubled Time”; he finished with “This World Pounding”.

9:00 Curtis Hodson – Curtis gave us a little Roy Orbison with “Blue Bayou”; Boudeleaux Bryant’s “Love Hurts” (covered by many); and Muddy Waters’ “I Got My Mojo Working”.

9:15 Bob Setzer – It just seemed right to have a Bob close the evening. Bob Setzer had the honor, and he played a tune Bob Cool taught him, “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music” (Verne Gosdin); his own songs, “Maybe”, “Oh Love”, and “Shut the Whole World Out”; and closed with Simon & Garfunkle’s “Richard Cory”.

If we disallowed train tunes and songs about home, I don’t think there would be many songs left to play; and if we disallowed Bobs, there wouldn’t be anyone left to play them.

Once more, we all love to share our music and it’s so hard to find good venues willing to accommodate us; please make an effort to support those venues whenever you can.  Show them that you appreciate it.  Be of good cheer, God bless, and see you next week.

Tim Woods, Greg Gross, and the Wood ‘n’ Lips open mic crew


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